FINANCE

Coldwater Creek narrows Q2 loss

BY Dan Berthiaume

Sandpoint, Idaho — Coldwater Creek Inc. narrowed its second quarter loss to $16.4 million from a year-earlier loss of $17.6 million.

Revenue was down 8.5% to $149.7 million, below the $163 million estimate from analysts. Same-store sales fell 7.3%.

President and CEO Jill Dean said sales were lower than planned in the latest period largely due to a deceleration in traffic in July.

"Our return to more consistent comparable store sales has been slower than expected; however, we know that customer engagement and driving traffic are critical to our long-term success and two recent announcements represent progress against these objectives,” Dean stated. “First, we have further strengthened our management team with the addition of Deb Cavanagh as chief marketing officer. In addition, our partnership with Alliance Data Systems provides us with an enhanced platform to drive sales and customer loyalty. We believe that these steps, combined with the extensive work we are continuing to do to align our merchandise assortment with our brand strategy, as well as our disciplined management of expenses and inventory, remain the right focus for our business."

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FINANCE

Pep Boys flat in Q2

BY Dan Berthiaume

Philadelphia — The Pep Boys – Manny, Moe & Jack reported net earnings of $5.4 million for the second quarter, down from $33 million in the year-ago quarter.

Sales for the quarter increased 0.4% to $527.6 million, from $525.7 million for the prior-year quarter. Same-store sales dipped 1.3%.

The company is looking for heavier consumer demand for tires to help turn around disappointing net earnings and same-store sales trends during the second quarter of fiscal 2013.

“Our strategically important maintenance and repair services remain steady and grew in customer count, sales and margin rate,” said president and CEO Mike Odell. “Tire sales were down in dollars and units, but grew in gross margin dollars. While not yet realized, we continue to be cautiously optimistic that we will see improving demand for tires this year.”

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FINANCE

Casey’s Q2 income up 43%; bullish on store expansion

BY Dan Berthiaume

Ankeny, Iowa — Casey’s General Stores, Inc. reported impressive performance for its fiscal first quarter, with net income up 43% to $55.7 million, from $39 million.

Net revenue increased 10.5% to $2.1 billion, from $1.9 billion. The company credited strong sales in all categories, especially gasoline, with driving its performance.

Casey’s said that its annual goal is to build or acquire 70 to 105 stores and replace 20 existing locations. As of the end of the quarter, the company opened four new stores, acquired three stores, and completed five replacement stores. It has 31 new stores and 18 replacement stores under construction, as well as 19 stores under written agreement to acquire.

“Our pipeline of new store constructions and potential acquisitions is as full as it has been in recent history,” said Robert J. Myers, president and CEO of Casey’s. “Our balance sheet remains very strong and we are well positioned to take advantage of opportunities.”

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