FINANCE

Falling sales cause Staples earnings to tumble

BY Dan Berthiaume

Framingham, Mass. – Staples Inc. attributed a 44% drop in net earnings during the first quarter of fiscal 2014 to lower sales caused by store closures and a rise in the value of the dollar. Net earnings of $96 million were 44% below net earnings of $170 million reported a year earlier.

Net sales dropped 3% to $5.65 billion from $5.81 billion. Staples said about 1% of that decline was caused by 16 North American store closures and fluctuations in foreign exchange rates. For second quarter 2014, the company expects sales to decrease versus second quarter 2013.

“We’re making progress meeting the changing needs of our customers as we reinvent Staples,” said Ron Sargent, Staples’ chairman and CEO. “Despite a slow start to the first quarter, our results were in line with our expectations and we expect to build momentum throughout 2014.”

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FINANCE

Dick’s Sporting Goods has healthy Q1; plans 59 new stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Pittsburgh – Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. reported healthy net income and sales growth during the first quarter of fiscal 2014, compared to the same period a year earlier. Net income rose 8% to $69.98 million from $64.82 million, while net sales increased 8% to $1.44 billion from $1.33 billion.

Dick’s plans to open 50 new Dick’s Sporting Goods stores during the fiscal year, relocate five Dick’s stores and remodel five Dick’s stores. The company also intends to open approximately eight new Field & Stream stores, relocate two Golf Galaxy stores and open one new Golf Galaxy store in 2014.

Same-store sales grew 1.2%. Same-store sales are expected to rise 1.3% in both the second quarter and full fiscal year. Edward W. Stack, chairman and CEO of Dick’s, said golf and hunting sales lagged other categories.

“Our difficulties this quarter were isolated to two categories: golf and hunting," said Stack. "After a very challenging first quarter in golf last year, we expected some further headwinds and only modest improvement, but instead we saw a continued significant decline. In the case of hunting, we planned the business down based on last year’s catalysts, but it was even weaker than expected."

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FINANCE

TJX grows net income during Q1; misses on sales

BY Dan Berthiaume

Framingham, Mass. – The TJX Cos. Inc. increased both net income and sales during the first quarter of fiscal 2015 on a year-over-year basis, although sales missed analyst projections. Net income grew slightly to $454.32 million from $452.89 million, while net sales increased 5% to $6.49 billion from $6.19 billion.

Analysts had expected net sales of $6.6 billion. Same-store sales remained flat. Carol Meyrowitz, CEO of TJX, blamed soft apparel sales for the miss on expected net sales.

“While sales were not as strong as we would have liked, predominantly in our apparel business, I was very pleased that overall business trends improved as the quarter progressed,” said Meyrowitz. “Further, our inventories and expenses were well managed, which helped protect our margins. We enter the second quarter in an excellent position. We like our lean inventory levels, which enable us to capitalize on the plentiful buying opportunities we are seeing in the marketplace and ship great fashions, brands and quality merchandise to our stores at amazing values. Additionally, we have exciting marketing initiatives planned to drive customer traffic. We are very confident in our ability to achieve our plans for the remainder of 2014 and beyond as we continue to bring value around the world.”

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