FINANCE

Regis’ Quarterly Profits Increase

BY CSA STAFF

Minneapolis Hair salon operator Regis Corp. announced Wednesday that an early Easter and price increases helped the company gain higher quarterly profits.

The company, which operates under the banners Vidal Sassoon and Supercuts, said net profit for the third quarter, ended March 31, soared to $19 million from $5.3 million a year earlier.

Same-store sales increased 3.3% during the period, the highest quarterly increase in eight years, according to chief executive Paul Finkelstein. Regis said it raised prices in more than 5,600 salons during the quarter. And earlier this month, the company said quarterly revenue rose 4% to $680 million from $655 million a year ago. 

Looking ahead, Regis said it expects fourth-quarter consolidated revenue to climb between 5% and 7%, to a range of $710 million to $720 million. The company also forecasted full-year consolidated revenue of $2.74 billion. This is a 4% increase from a year ago.

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BJ’s touts low-cost healthy offerings

BY CSA STAFF

NATICK, Mass. BJ’s Wholesale Club is promoting itself as the smart solution for price-and-health-conscious consumers. The company is touting its savings on organic and natural food selections such as a six pack of Stonyfield Farms 10 oz. Organic Smoothies which costs $6.99 at BJ’s, versus $10.14 at the supermarket.

“We believe our organic foods and natural meat and poultry provide the exceptional quality our members have come to expect at a price they can afford,” said Laura Sen, president and coo of BJ’s Wholesale Club. “These two categories are growing exponentially and are on a pace that is outgrowing other product categories.”

Sen reiterated the organic and natural food selection at BJ’s is undergoing continuous expansion. “With the popularity of items like 100-calorie packs and flavored waters, consumers continue to show that products related to health and fitness are extremely important to them,” said Sen. “We take pride in being able to provide our members with additional organic and natural food selections on a regular basis.”

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Report: Blockbuster weighing options for Circuit City

BY CSA STAFF

NEW YORK Blockbuster is studying various options to fund its buyout offer of Circuit City, such as using Circuit City’s own balance sheet, even as the electronics retailer is asking Blockbuster to prove it can handle an all-cash bid, the Wall Street Journal reported on April 21.

Blockbuster is also considering using its existing debt facility, possible asset sales and cost savings for the deal, the report said.

Last week, Blockbuster offered up to $1.3 billion to buy Circuit City but the offer has drawn doubts from Wall Street, investors and Circuit City itself over how Blockbuster will fund the bid.

While investors fear that Blockbuster may need to raise new debt or renegotiate its current debt to finance the offer, Blockbuster is hopeful that it has alternative funds to sidestep that possibility, the report said.

Still, Blockbuster will not go ahead with the offer if it does not like what it sees in Circuit City’s financial books, the report said in a separate report, citing an interview with Blockbuster ceo Jim Keyes.

Circuit City has not allowed Blockbuster to see its books.

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