Consumers Glum as Black Friday Approaches
The mood among consumers turned gloomy in November as gasoline prices soared and the housing-market downturn threatened to ensnare more Americans, a report showed on Wednesday.
The Reuters/University of Michigan consumer-confidence reading for November was 76.1, down from 80.9 in October. Apart from the short-lived dip in sentiment that followed Hurricane Katrina in 2005, it was the weakest since 1992.
A drop in weekly mortgage applications, signs of stress in the labor market and crude oil prices on the cusp of $100 per barrel threw up red flags on the eve of the critical holiday-spending rush.
Meanwhile, a composite index of ten leading economic indicators fell by a larger-than-expected 0.5% in October, the Conference Board said on Wednesday.
“Consumers worry about wages not keeping up with price pressures,” said Ken Goldstein, labor economist at the privately owned group. “Where the economy is headed in the early months of 2008 is heavily dependent on perceptions about price.”
GameStop reports strong 3Q earnings
GRAPEVINE, Texas GameStop today reported that earnings for the third quarter ended Nov. 3 were $52 million. Diluted earnings per share were 31 cents for the third quarter of 2007.
The company reported that total sales increased 59.3% to $1.6 billion in comparison to $1 billion in the prior year quarter. Comparable-store sales increased 46.3% during the third quarter, also beating previously released guidance of 30% to 32%.
Richard Fontaine, GameStop’s chairman and ceo, stated, “Our third quarter sales and earnings are a reflection of not only the real momentum in the video game business as a whole, but a particularly strong statement that GameStop’s model continues to run ahead of the growth curve. We had an outstanding quarter both domestically and internationally, while our e-commerce division, GameStop.com, and video game publication, Game Informer, had record quarters.”
For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, GameStop is forecasting comparable-store sales to range from up 7% to up 9%, on top of comparable-store sales of 26.5% in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006 when the Nintendo Wii and Sony’s Playstation 3 were launched. Diluted earnings per share are expected to range from 95 cents to 97 cents compared to earnings per share of 81 cents in the fourth quarter of 2006.
The company has also raised its fourth quarter guidance. The company now expects full year 2007 diluted earnings per share guidance to range from $1.61 to $1.63. Total revenues are now projected to grow between 28% and 29%, with expected comparable-store sales ranging from up 20% to up 21%.
Bausch & Lomb names general counsel
ROCHESTER, N.Y. Bausch & Lomb has named Robert Bailey corporate vp and general counsel. Bailey was most recently vp, assistant general counsel and assistant secretary for the company.
Bailey re-joined Bausch & Lomb in 1997 after serving as associate general counsel and assistant secretary at Goulds Pumps from 1995-1997. He first joined at Bausch & Lomb as counsel from 1994 to 1995. He began his legal career as an associate with what is now the Nixon Peabody law firm in Rochester, N.Y.
Bailey replaces Robert Stiles who has announced his intention to retire from Bausch & Lomb in 2008, after a career spanning more than 25 years with Bausch & Lomb, most recently as senior vp and general counsel.