FINANCE

Ross Stores profit up 22% in Q1

BY CSA STAFF

Pleasanton, Calif. — Ross Stores said Thursday that profit for the quarter ended April 30 surged 22% to $173 million, compared with $142.3 million a year earlier.

Sales increased 7% to $2.1 billion, and same-store sales rose 3% on top of a 10% gain in 2010.

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FINANCE

Stein Mart profit edges up in Q1; plans increased POS spending

BY CSA STAFF

Jacksonville, Fla. — Stein Mart reported Thursday that net income for the first quarter rose to $15.9 million from $14.3 million in 2010.

Sales edged up 0.8% to $303.5 million, and same-store sales increased 1.5%.

The retailer said it is increasing its plan for capital expenditure in 2011 by $5 million to a range of $30 to $35 million. Stein Mart said the increased spending is for POS hardware in all stores toward increasing operational efficiency.

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FINANCE

Sears posts $170 million loss on weak sales

BY CSA STAFF

Hoffman Estates, Ill. — Sears Holding Corp. reported Thursday that it recorded a bigger-than-expected loss in the first quarter as its shoppers cut back on spending. The chain said it lost $170 million, compared with net income of $16 million in the year-ago period.

The retailer had cautioned earlier in May that it expected a first-quarter loss due mainly to a drop in appliance, clothing and consumer electronic sales.

Kmart, which had been a strong performer for the company, saw sales drop 1.6% in the quarter on lower food, consumables and pharmacy revenue. At Sears’ domestic stores, sales dropped 5.2% on weakened sales of appliances, clothing and consumer electronics.

Consolidated same-store sales declined 3.6%. Overall revenue fell 3% to $9.71 billion, missing Wall Street’s anticipated $9.73 billion, in part because of the weak results from its domestic stores, as well as having fewer Kmart and Sears stores open. The company also reported a 9.2% drop in same-store revenue from Sears stores in Canada.

President and CEO Lou D’Ambrosio, who took the helm in February, said that bad weather, economic pressures and the absence of the appliance rebate program hurt Sears’ performance. But he also admitted that the company could have done a better job internally.

"We cannot control the weather or economy or government spending. But we can control how we execute and leverage the potent set of assets we have," D’Ambrosio said.

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