FINANCE

Gymboree Corp. earnings down in Q1

BY CSA STAFF

San Francisco The Gymboree Corp. reported earnings of $21.8 million for its first quarter ended May 2, compared with earnings of $25.0 million for the same period last year.

Net sales from retail operations for the quarter totaled $228.0 million, down 5% from the $238.9 million during the same period last year. Total net sales for the quarter were $230.9 million, down 5% compared with total net sales of $242.1 million for the same period in the year before.

As previously reported, same-store sales were down 10% during the quarter.

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Target supports education to the tune of $18 million

BY CSA STAFF

MINNEAPOLIS Target reported that through its education programs, Take Charge of Education and Target Field Trip Grants, Target has provided more than $18 million to schools across the country for the funding of both in and outside classroom learning since January.

“The U.S. education system is at a crossroads and schools across the country are in need of immediate support and leadership,” said Laysha Ward, president of community relations for Target. “Enhancing educational opportunities for our country’s children is a top priority at Target and we understand that schools are facing perhaps the most challenging time financially in recent history. Our programs, like Take Charge of Education and Target Field Trip Grants, help make a difference in our communities by investing in the future of our children.”

Through its Take Charge of Education program, Target provided $14.7 million in undesignated funds to schools in March for its twice-yearly payout, which can be used for whatever schools need most–from books and school supplies to classroom technology, artist-in-residence programs and extracurricular activities.

The Target Field Trip Grants program makes it it possible for nearly 440,000 students to learn outside the classroom this spring through hands-on field trips at thousands of unique destinations. Four million dollars was awarded to educators for 5,000 trips.

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JCPenney contributes common stock to company pension plan

BY CSA STAFF

PLANO, Texas JCPenney announced that it made a voluntary contribution of JCPenney common stock to the JCPenney Corporation Pension Plan. The contribution made to the plan is valued at $340 million and consists of approximately 13.4 million newly issued shares of JCPenney common stock. The value of the contribution was based on a price of $25.3946 per share. With the contribution, the plan’s fully funded status under ERISA rules is further enhanced with a funding ratio in excess of 110%.

“The addition of company stock to the plan demonstrates management’s confidence in our business plan and our strong prospects for future growth,” stated Robert Cavanaugh, EVP and CFO. “The contribution, which is fully tax deductible, increases the company’s financial flexibility for 2009 and future years and is accretive to earnings and cash flow this year. It is also indicative of our commitment to effectively and efficiently deliver the highest quality benefits programs to our associates.”

An independent fiduciary, Evercore Trust Company, will manage the JCPenney common stock contributed to the plan. The stock contribution provides the plan with dividend income and the potential for future price appreciation during the time the stock is held by the plan. Evercore Trust Company will be solely responsible for deciding when to sell the shares owned by the plan. State Street Bank and Trust Company remains the plan trustee and custodian for all plan assets.

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