FINANCE

Sprouts proposes stockholder sale of up to 15 million shares

BY Dan Berthiaume

Phoenix — Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. has filed a Registration Statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with the proposed sale in an underwritten offering of up to 15 million shares of its common stock by affiliates of Apollo Global Management LLC and certain other stockholders of the company. Sprouts is not selling any shares and will not receive any proceeds of this offering.

The offering will be made through an underwriting group led by Goldman, Sachs & Co., Credit Suisse, BofA Merrill Lynch, Apollo Global Securities, Barclays, Deutsche Bank Securities, UBS Investment Bank, Guggenheim Securities and Wolfe Research Securities. Goldman, Sachs & Co., Credit Suisse and BofA Merrill Lynch are acting as joint book-running managers of the offering and the representatives of the underwriters.

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OPERATIONS

Barnes & Noble makes Nook publishing platform available in Europe

BY Dan Berthiaume

New York – Barnes & Noble subsidiary Nook Media LLC, is making its Nook Press self-publishing platform available to authors and publishers in the U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Authors and publishers in these countries can now upload and start selling their books in these territories through Nook devices and free Nook reading apps, allowing them to reach millions of Nook customers around the globe.

As part of this expanded availability, Nook Press is now available in multiple languages including French, Italian, German, Spanish, Dutch, as well as English, and authors will be paid in their local currency.

“We are excited to make Nook Press available to independent authors and publishers in the U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium, opening up new sales opportunities to international authors and publishers,” said Theresa Horner, general manager of Nook Press. “This is another example of Barnes & Noble’s long-standing commitment to supporting and promoting authors and publishers, and bringing the very best content to its customers.”

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FINANCE

DSW net income rises in Q4; sees potential for 550 stores

BY Dan Berthiaume

Columbus, Ohio – DSW Inc. reported a net income increase in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2013 compared to the same period a year earlier, even as net sales dipped. Fourth quarter net income rose 4% to $28.1 million from $27.1 million, while net sales declined 4% to $572 million from $594 million and same-store sales remained flat.

In addition, DSW now sees a full build-out potential for 500 to 550 stores, including 35 new stores it expects to build in fiscal 2014. For the full year, the company expects revenue growth of 6% to 7%, with same-store sales growth in the low-single digit range.

During the full fiscal year 2013, DSW reported net income growth of 13.5%, to $172.8 million from $152.2 million. Reported sales increased 4.9% to $2.4 billion from $2.3 billion. Same-store sales increased 0.2%.

"We marked our fifth consecutive year of double digit earnings growth in 2013, with adjusted earnings per share of $1.88 compared to the prior year’s results of $1.67,” said Mike MacDonald, president and CEO of DSW Inc. “Effective inventory management and our new systems enabled us to expand full year merchandise margin to 45.1%, which is just 10 bps shy of our record margin in 2011. We were also able to improve on our SG&A rate by 80 bps to 20.4%, which led to our highest ever operating margin of 11.7%.”

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