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Hollywood Board Recommends Movie Gallery Bid

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Hollywood Entertainment Corp. unanimously recommends that its shareholders reject an offer from Blockbuster, and take a lower bid from Movie Gallery. Hollywood pointed to “uncertainties and possible delays” in the Blockbuster direct-to-shareholder bid, which came in at $14.50 per share. That compares to the previously agreed-upon $13.25 per share bid from Movie Gallery.

Dothan, Ala.-based Movie Gallery applauded the Hollywood board’s recommendation. “Movie Gallery already has received regulatory approval to proceed with its acquisition of Hollywood, whereas Blockbuster’s proposed transaction remains the subject of an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission,” the company said in a statement.

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Guess? Posts Strong Q4

BY CSA STAFF

Los Angeles, Guess?, Inc. reported net earnings of $14.9 million, for the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2004, up 26.3% from $11.8 million in the same quarter last year. Comparable-store sales increased 4.4% during the fourth quarter of 2004 from the year-ago period. Total net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2004 increased 12.4% to $224 million from $199.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2003.

“Results for the quarter reflect sales and margin growth, including improved wholesale performance and a higher licensing contribution,” said Carlos Alberini, president and COO. For the full year, Guess? reported that net earnings increased to $29.6 million, up from $7.3 million in the comparable 2003 period. Comp-store sales increased 9.9% for the 2004 year.

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Ultimate Electronics Reshuffles Execs

BY CSA STAFF

Denver, Major management changes are in store at Ultimate Electronics, which named Mark Wattles, former chief executive at Hollywood Entertainment, as the company’s CEO. Gone are former CEO David Workman; Neal Bobrick, senior VP of sales; and Gerry Demple, senior VP of services. The company also said it garnered final approval of its $118.5 million debtor’s in possession financing by the bankruptcy court.

Other new executives for the company include:

• Bill Besselman, VP of strategic planning and analysis. He was most recently VP of strategic planning and analysis at Hollywood Video.

• Lon Weingart, consultant to the company for approximately six months overseeing operations of the business. Most recently he was senior VP of operations at Hollywood Video.

• Jim Marcum, who joined the company’s board of directors when Mark Wattles became chairman, has been asked by the board to take an active role with respect to the company’s financial operations and restructuring strategy.

Wattles, said, “I am excited to be working with some of the talent that led Hollywood Video through its successful turnaround.”

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