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RadioShack swings to loss in Q4

BY Marianne Wilson

Fort Worth, Texas — RadioShack Corp. reported a greater-than-expected net loss of $63.3 million in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, compared with a profit of $11.9 million a year earlier.

Total sales edged down to $1.3 billion compared to $1.39 billion last year. Comparable-store sales fell 7%, hurt by a decline in the performance of its postpaid wireless business.

In a regulatory filing on Tuesday, the chain said that its cash and cash equivalents fell to $535.7 million at the end of 2012 from $591.7 million a year ago. The chain said its liquidity may be hurt further in 2013 as it may have to issue letters of credit under a 2016 credit facility.

Analysts said that RadioShack’s declining performance pointed to the challenge facing its new CEO, Joseph Magnacca, who is trying to transform the struggling electronics chain into a specialty retailer of mobile devices. Magnacca took the reins of RadioShack on Feb.11.

"Looking ahead, we will be focused on stabilizing the profitability of our business as well as our growth initiatives,” said Dorvin D. Lively, EVP, CFO and chief administrative officer of RadioShack Corp. Lively said. “With the addition of Joe and other new senior executives, we now have a strong management team in place focused on rebuilding the business and leading the company into the future."

For the full year, total net sales and operating revenue were $4.3 billion, compared to $4.4 billion last year. Same-store store sales fell 3.5%.

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Vitamin Shoppe Q4 profit up 3%, hurt by Superstorm Hurricane

BY Marianne Wilson

North Bergen, N.J. — Vitamin Shoppe Inc. said Tuesday its fourth-quarter net income rose 3% to $9.7 million, up from $9.4 million in the year-ago period.

Revenue rose 2% in the quarter ended Dec. 29, to $218.9 million from $214.9 million. Same-store sales rose 5.2%. Online sales grew 13%. The company said that its sales growth was partially offset by the impact of Superstorm Sandy, which negatively impacted comparable sales by 1.6%. Also, when compared with the same period in the prior year, the chain’s fourth quarter had one less selling week.

Vitamin Shoppe opened 15 stores during the quarter, including its first two in Canada, bringing its store count to 579.

Vitamin Shoppe plans to open about 50 new stores this year, compared with 54 in 2012.

For the full year, profit rose 35% to $60.8 million. Revenue increased 11% to $950.9 million.

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Macy’s profit beats Street; forecast tops views

BY Marianne Wilson

Cincinnati — Macy’s earned a better-than-expected $730 million in the fourth quarter, compared with $745 million a year earlier when it booked one-time gains from the sale of store leases. The department store retailer forecast an annual profit for the recently completed year that surpassed analysts’ estimates and provided new guidance for continued growth and progress for 2013.

“Going into 2013, our team is moving ahead with new plans and actions to sharpen our approach to localized merchandise assortments and marketing, which we continue to believe is Macy’s sustainable competitive advantage,” said Macy’s chairman, president and CEO Terry Lundgren. “We are accelerating progress in omni-channel strategies at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s to bring together our efforts in stores, online and mobile in a manner that satisfies emerging shopping patterns and capitalizes on the strength of our inventory regardless of where the customer demand occurs.”

Sales in the quarter ended February 2, 2013, rose 7.2% to $9.35 billion from $8.72 billion. Same- store sales rose 3.9%, helped by a 48% surge in online sales.

For the full year, Macy’s sales totaled $27.686 billion, up 4.9% from the previous year. 2011. On a same-store basis, sales were up 3.7%, better than the chain’s initial guidance.

Online sales (macys.com and bloomingdales.com combined) were up 47.7% in the fourth quarter and 41% for the year. Online sales are included in the same-store sales calculation for Macy’s.

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