FINANCE

Lowe’s profit rises 17% in Q3, misses Street

BY CSA STAFF

Mooresville, N.C. — Lowe’s Cos. reported Monday that profit for the quarter ended Oct. 29 rose 17% to $404 million, compared with net income of $344 million in the year-ago period.

The second-largest U.S. home-improvement retailer cited shrinking labor expense for the improvement.

Revenue rose 1.9% to $11.59 billion in the third quarter. Wall Street expected sales of $11.75 billion. Same-store sales edged up 0.2%.

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FINANCE

Gymboree profit dips in Q3

BY CSA STAFF

San Francisco — The Gymboree Corp. reported Monday that net income for the quarter ended Oct. 30 dipped slightly to $34.4 million, compared with net income of $34.8 million in the year-ago quarter.

Revenue increased 4% to $280.9 million, compared with $269.1 million in the prior year.

Same-store sales decreased 4%.

"Our strategy of leveraging existing infrastructure across a multi-brand portfolio, coupled with the strong performance of Crazy 8, has served as the catalyst for our continued margin improvement,” said Matthew McCauley, chairman and CEO. “Looking ahead, we plan to build on our success with the Crazy 8 brand and expect to roll out an additional 80 stores in 2011."

Gymboree operates 1,049 retail stores: 636 Gymboree stores (595 in the United States; 37 in Canada; two in Australia; and two in Puerto Rico); 148 Gymboree Outlet stores; 122 Janie and Jack shops; and 143 Crazy 8 stores in the United States.

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FINANCE

U.S. retail sales rose 1.2% in October

BY CSA STAFF

Washington, D.C. — A report released Monday by the Commerce Department said that retail sales beat expectations for October, climbing 1.2% and representing the biggest gain since March.

The 1.2% rise in October purchases followed a 0.7% gain in September, which also was larger than estimated.

Stock gains over the past two months and growing employment may give a boost to consumer spending in the coming months. “The 2010 holiday shopping season could prove a little bit brighter,” Zach Pandl, an economist at Nomura Securities International in New York, told Bloomberg. “Consumer spending is really the main factor leading to a little bit more optimistic views of where the economy is heading.”

Nine of 13 categories in Monday’s report showed an increase in demand, led by a 5% gain among auto dealers. Sales excluding automobiles advanced 0.4%. Non-store merchants, which include Internet retailers, sporting goods and building material stores, were among the other categories that showed increasing demand.

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