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Spiegel Plan: Focus on Eddie Bauer

BY CSA STAFF

Downers Grove, Ill., Spiegel filed its reorganization plan with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The plan contemplates that the business will be reorganized around the Eddie Bauer division of Spiegel, Inc., establishing a new parent company, Eddie Bauer Holdings, Inc. Eddie Bauer will continue to operate through its stores, catalogs and Internet site, and will be headquartered in Redmond, Wash.

Spiegel filed for bankruptcy protection in March 2003.

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Thursday Morning Earnings Roundup

BY CSA STAFF

Minneapolis, Target Corp. reported net earnings of $825 million in its fourth quarter, flat from the year-ago period. The figure was reduced by $65 million by a change in the way the retailer accounts for leases. Sales were up 11.1% to $14.9 billion for the quarter, aided by comps growth of 5.4%.

For the full year, Target posted net earnings of $3.2 billion, up 76.7% from the year before. Those earnings include a gain of $1.24 billion related to the sale of the Marshall Field’s and Mervyn’s chains. Total revenues increased 11.5% to $46.84 billion, driven by a 5.3% gain in same-store sales.

In other earnings news:

• RadioShack Corp. said its income grew 2.8% to $130.9 million in its fourth quarter, aided by a 7% sales improvement to $1.6 million and same-store sales growth of 3%. For the fiscal year, the retailer’s net income was up 13% to $337.2 million, helped by a 4% gain in sales to $4.84 billion and a comps improvement of 3%.

• Advance Auto Parts Inc. posted net income of $32.1 million in its recently completed fourth quarter, up 2.5% from the year-ago period. Net sales grew 3.4% to $848.8 million, supported by same-store sales growth of 9.7%. For the full year, the retailer recorded net income of $188 million, up 50.5% from the year-ago period. Net sales increased 7.9% to $3.8 billion on the strength of a 6.1% improvement in comps.

• Cabela’s Inc. recorded fourth-quarter net income of $38.5 million, up 9.9% from the same quarter of the previous year. Total revenues increased 5.7% to $579.1 million. For the 13-week period, same-store sales fell 1.2% compared with the year-ago period. For the full year, Cabela’s net income rose 26.5% to $65 million, helped by a 11.4% gain in sales to $1.56 billion. However, same-store sales slipped by 0.6%.

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Hollywood Board Recommends Movie Gallery Bid

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Hollywood Entertainment Corp. unanimously recommends that its shareholders reject an offer from Blockbuster, and take a lower bid from Movie Gallery. Hollywood pointed to “uncertainties and possible delays” in the Blockbuster direct-to-shareholder bid, which came in at $14.50 per share. That compares to the previously agreed-upon $13.25 per share bid from Movie Gallery.

Dothan, Ala.-based Movie Gallery applauded the Hollywood board’s recommendation. “Movie Gallery already has received regulatory approval to proceed with its acquisition of Hollywood, whereas Blockbuster’s proposed transaction remains the subject of an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission,” the company said in a statement.

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