FINANCE

Express profit plummets 23% but beats expectations

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Columbus, Ohio — Express Inc. reported Thursday that its third-quarter net income fell 23% to $32.4 million, compared with $42.1 million in the same period last year. Results, impacted by heavier discounting and higher costs, still beat Wall Street’s estimates.

Revenue climbed 3% to $508.5 million, solidly topping analysts’ estimate of $498 million and prompting the apparel retailer to lift its full-year earnings forecast. Same-store sales were flat in the quarter, after a 4% gain last year.

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FINANCE

Big Lots Q1 net income slides 21%, cuts full-year forecast

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Columbus, Ohio — Big Lots’ profit slid 21% in the first quarter, to $32.3 million from $40.7 million, but adjusted results still met Wall Street forecasts. Still, the discounter lowered its full-year revenue forecast based on the performance.

Revenue edged up 2% in the quarter, to $1.31 billion, from $1.29 billion, just missing Wall Street’s expected $1.32 billion in revenue. Same-store sales dipped 2.5%.

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OPERATIONS

Home Depot to hold more than 700 in-store hurricane workshops

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Atlanta — The Home Depot announced a single-day effort to prepare residents in storm-prone regions for the upcoming hurricane season. On July 27, Home Depot said it will host Hurricane Preparedness Workshops at more than 700 of its stores from the Gulf Coast to New England.

The expansion of the workshops is one of several preemptive measures the company is taking in preparation for 2013 hurricane activity, which is once again predicted to be above average.

Workshop leaders will cover critical hurricane readiness topics, such as storm prep projects, generator safety, sizing generators for specific home or business needs and assembling disaster preparedness kits.

"We play a critical role in the disaster response infrastructure before and after storms, and we have expanded that focus to more stores and facilities in our Northern Division," said Marvin Ellison, executive VP U.S. Stores.

In addition to moving Workshops farther north this year, Home Depot has expanded its hurricane operating plan and has enhanced its supply chain readiness in northern facilities, including a new rail-connected distribution depot serving Long Island, Queens and Brooklyn.

In other storm-related efforts, the company opened a unique satellite storm recovery location in Seaside Heights, N.J., for post-Superstorm Sandy recovery.

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