FINANCE

BJ’s Q4 profit up 5%, lowers forecast

BY CSA STAFF

Natick, Mass. BJ’s Wholesale Club said Wednesday that its fiscal fourth-quarter profit climbed 5% and higher gasoline prices led to increased revenue. But the third-largest warehouse club operator also gave a 2010 earnings forecast below analysts’ predictions.

BJ’s profit increased to $55.1 million, compared with earnings of $52.7 million a year ago.

Sales for the period ended Jan. 30 rose 9% to $2.8 billion, from $2.56 billion on membership fee growth and increased net sales, beating the $2.79 billion forecast of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

Same-store sales grew 4.6%, with a 2.3% benefit from gasoline sales.

Annual revenue increased 2% to $10.19 billion, from $10.03 billion.

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Staples 4Q income down 18%

BY CSA STAFF

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. Staples announced that total company sales for the fourth quarter 2009 increased 4% to $6.4 billion compared with the fourth quarter of 2008. Net income for the fourth quarter 2009 declined 18% year over year to $234 million, and diluted earnings per share, on a GAAP basis, decreased 20% to 32 cents from the 40 cents achieved in the fourth quarter of last year.

“With a strong finish in the fourth quarter, our team delivered a solid 2009,” said Ron Sargent, Staples’ chairman and chief executive officer. “We made great progress on the integration of Corporate Express, took big steps toward building a global Staples brand, laid a solid foundation for growth in our technology services and copy and print businesses, and strengthened our international leadership team.”

 

For the full year 2009, total company sales increased 5% to $24.3 billion compared to the full year 2008. Net income decreased 8% year over year to $739 million, and diluted earnings per share, on a GAAP basis, decreased 10% to $1.02 from the $1.13 achieved last year.

 

Staples North American retail segment reported a comparable-store sales increase of 3% for the fourth quarter and a decrease of 2% for the full year.

 

For the first quarter 2010, Staples expects sales to increase in the mid single-digits compared to the same period of 2009. The company expects to achieve diluted earnings per share, on a GAAP basis, in the range of 22 cents to 24 cents for the first quarter 2010.

For the full year 2010, the company expects total company sales to increase in the low single-digits compared to the full year 2009. The company expects to achieve diluted earnings per share, on a GAAP basis, in the range of $1.18 to $1.28 for the full year 2010.

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Supervalu launches new pet line

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Supervalu announced that it has launched a new line of food products for dogs and cats, along with a variety of treats and supplies.

The WholeCare Pet line, which will replace Supervalu’s two former private-label pet product brands, Happy Tails and NutriPlan, will be available nationwide at the company’s family of grocery stores.

 

“Pets will love our new WholeCare Pet line, which offers high-quality, nutritional products in a variety of fun new flavors — all at better prices than the national brands,” said Stacy Bergmann, brand manager for Supervalu. “In addition to the value, we believe that pet parents will appreciate the convenience of shopping for their entire family’s nutritional needs at their neighborhood grocery store.”

 

The new WholeCare Pet line will feature 19 varieties of wet dog and puppy food, 11 types and sizes of dry dog and puppy food, 13 varieties of dog biscuits and treats, 20 varieties of wet cat food, nine types and sizes of dry cat and kitten food and 10 cat litter offerings.

Supervalu said it is supporting the launch of the WholeCare Pet brand with an integrated marketing communications campaign that features banner and circular ads, direct mail, in-store displays and promotions.

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