FINANCE

Jones Q1 profit down 34% on charges, costs

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Jones Group’s net income fell 34% in the first quarter, weighed down by higher costs and charges tied to an acquisition.

Jones Group earned $25.9 million, compared with $39.4 million a year ago.

Jones Group said its quarterly results included about $11 million in costs and charges tied to its Stuart Weitzman acquisition and other restructuring and strategic review costs. Last year’s quarter included costs and charges totaling approximately $3 million.

Revenue increased to $961.3 million from $887.3 million, surpassing Wall Street’s $919.2 million.

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Consumer confidence up

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Consumer confidence recovered somewhat in April, though the impact of rising gasoline prices is still evident, according to data released Tuesday by the Conference Board.

The confidence index hit 65.4 in April, from an upwardly revised 63.8 in March. The reading is still below the 72.0 mark of February.

“Consumers’ short-term outlook improved slightly, suggesting that the uncertainty expressed last month is easing,” said Lynn Franco, director of the Conference Board’s consumer research center. “Although confidence remains weak, consumers’ assessment of current conditions gained ground for the seventh straight month, a sign that the economic recovery continues.”

While expectations among consumers that business conditions will improve over the next six months declined to 18.8% from 20.8%, those anticipating business conditions to worsen decreased to 14.2% from 15.5%.

Consumers were mixed about labor market outlook for the next six months. Those expecting more jobs in the months ahead declined to 17.5% from 19.6%, while those anticipating fewer jobs declined to 19% from 20.5%.

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FINANCE

Wal-Mart CEO sees progress in turning around U.S. sales

BY CSA STAFF

New York City — Wal-Mart Stores is making progress bringing items and shoppers back to its U.S. stores, president and CEO Mike Duke said Tuesday at the Barclays Capital analyst conference in New York City.

Duke noted that improving the chain’s U.S. same-store sales remains its top priority. He said the chain is on its way to having the right assortment.

Wal-Mart’s biggest growth opportunity remains the United States, where it is opening more supercenters and other types of stores, followed by the potential to expand in China, according to Duke.

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