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Sally Beauty card data may have been exposed

BY Dan Berthiaume

Denton, Texas – Fewer than 25,000 customer credit card numbers may have been exposed in a recent security breach at Sally Beauty Holdings Inc. The retailer said in a statement that an investigation by Verizon indicates credit card data may have been taken by hackers.

“We take this criminal activity very seriously,” said Sally Beauty. “We continue to work diligently with Verizon on this investigation and are taking necessary actions and precautions to mitigate and remediate the issues caused by this security incident. In addition, we are working with the United States Secret Service on their preliminary investigation into the matter.”

Sally Beauty initially reported a “recent breach” on March 5, 2014, and at that time said it did not believe there was any loss of consumer or credit card data. However, Sally Beauty also said at that time it would continue to investigate and actively monitor the situation. The retailer said it will not speculate on the scope or nature of this incident until a comprehensive forensic investigation is complete, and will notify affected customers and continue updating the public on the progress of the investigation.

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Report: Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba plans U.S. IPO

BY Dan Berthiaume

Hong Kong – Chinese e-commerce platform provider Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is reportedly planning a U.S. initial public offering (IPO). According to Bloomberg, Alibaba has received approval from Hong Kong regulators for its proposed governance structure.

Unnamed sources indicate Alibaba will work with Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc. on developing and launching the IPO. Alibaba’s market capitalization may reach $200 billion, which would make it the second-most-valuable Internet company after Google and more valuable than Facebook.

Alibaba reportedly has not yet decided details of the IPO, such as initial share price, how many shares it will sell, what exchange it will be listed on or when the IPO will take place. The company has proposed that its partners nominate a majority of the board of directors, which could not take place in a Hong Kong filing. Alibaba may file an IPO on China in the future.

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Hibbett Sports net income drops in Q4, sales climb

BY Dan Berthiaume

Birmingham, Ala. – Net income and sales declined at Hibbett Sports Inc. during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013. Net income dropped 13% from $19.6 million in the fourth quarter of the prior fiscal year to $16.4 million, while net sales inched upward 0.2% to $217.8 million from $217.4 million.

Same-store sales rose 1.7% during the quarter. Hibbett Sports cited slowing sales in January due to inclement weather and a less favorable sales impact from the national college football championship game as impacting net income.

“Sales trends improved significantly in February as weather patterns normalized, and we transitioned to our spring assortment,” said Jeff Rosenthal, president and CEO of Hibbett Sports. “Looking ahead, we feel confident in our product offering, inventory levels and execution as we progress through this important season. We also continue to be encouraged by new store unit growth and sales, and look forward to delivering value on our key initiatives in fiscal 2015."

Fiscal results followed a similar pattern during the full fiscal year 2014 with net income dropping 2% to $70.9 million from $72.6 million, and net sales increasing 4.1% to $852 million from $815.7 million. Same-store sales rose 1.8%.

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