FINANCE

Lowe’s Cos. prices $1 billion notes offering

BY CSA STAFF

Mooresville, N.C. Lowe’s Cos. earlier this week priced an offering of $1 billion in notes.

The home-improvement retailer has agreed to sell $500 million of 4.625% notes due in 2020 and $500 million of 5.8% notes due 2040.

The company estimates it will receive $990.7 million in proceeds from the offering. Lowe’s plans to use $500 million of the net proceeds to repay its 8.25% notes due June 1, and the balance for general corporate purchases, including a buyback of its common stock.

The offering is expected to close on Thursday.

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Talbots improves quarterly earnings

BY CSA STAFF

HINGHAM, Mass. Talbots reported that adjusted fourth quarter income from continuing operations increased to $7.4 million, or 13 cents per diluted share, compared with last year’s adjusted loss from continuing operations of $123.4 million, or $2.30 per share.

On a reported (GAAP) basis, fourth quarter loss from continuing operations was $1.5 million, or 3 cents per share, compared with last year’s loss from continuing operations of $131.3 million, or $2.45 per share.

 

“We delivered a strong fourth quarter, capping off a successful year of tremendous change and innovation. Our strategic transformation – re-energizing our brand, modernizing our merchandise, streamlining our organization and improving our business processes – firmly positions us for future growth and profitability,” said Trudy Sullivan, Talbots president and CEO.

 

Total sales from continuing operations decreased 3.7% to $315.9 million, compared with $327.9 million last year. Comparable-store sales declined 7.2% in the quarter.

 

Adjusted full year loss from continuing operations was $5.5 million, or 10 cents per share, compared to last year’s adjusted loss from continuing operations of $118.9 million, or $2.25 per share, the company reported.

 

On a reported (GAAP) basis, fiscal year 2009 loss from continuing operations was $25.3 million, or 47 cents per share, compared with last year’s loss from continuing operations of $139.5 million, or $2.63 per share.

 

Total net sales from continuing operations were $1.2 billion for the fifty-two week period, compared with $1.5 billion last year. Comparable-store sales declined 19.3% for the fifty-two week period.

 

For the full year 2010, the company anticipates a top-line sales increase in the range of approximately 3% to 5% compared with the prior year period. Adjusted operating income, excluding restructuring, impairment and merger costs, is anticipated to be in the range of approximately 5% to 6% of sales.

For the first quarter 2010, the company anticipates a top line sales increase in the range of 4% to 5% compared with the prior-year period. Adjusted operating income, excluding restructuring, impairment and merger costs, is anticipated to be in the range of approximately 4.5% to 6% of sales.

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Stater Bros. CEO honored by Congressional Medal of Honor Society

BY CSA STAFF

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. Stater Bros. Markets announced that its chairman and CEO, Jack Brown, has been honored by the Congressional Medal of Honor Society for his years of contributions to the Congressional Medal of Honor Society and for his dedication to promoting and perpetuating the principles upon which our nation was founded: “Courage, Sacrifice and Selfless Service.”

The award was presented on March 1, 2010, by five Medal of Honor Recipients:  John F. Baker Jr., Harvey C. Barnum Jr., Ronald E. Ray, James A. Taylor, and Jay R. Vargas, who have all known Brown personally for many years.

 

Brown stated, “I have been honored in my career by receiving several special awards but none were presented by five Medal of Honor Recipients and from an organization that I so respect and admire…the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.  Those who wear the … ‘Medal of Honor’ …are truly America’s finest.”

Brown is a Navy Veteran, having served with the Pacific Fleet during the Vietnam era.  He has been at the helm of Stater Bros. Markets for the past 29 years.

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