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Ultimate Electronics names new president

BY CSA STAFF

THORNTON, Colo. Jim Pearse has been named president of Ultimate Electronics. Pearse has been with the company since 1993, most recently serving as senior vp of merchandising.

Bruce Giesbrecht, ceo of Ultimate Electronics commented, “This promotion recognizes Jim’s contribution to Ultimate Electronics’ successful turnaround. Before the acquisition by Wattles Capital Management in April 2005, Ultimate Electronics stores experienced years of deteriorating sales performance and declining EBITDA caused by problems in merchandising, marketing and store operations. Since then, we have fixed the product assortment, rationalized the pricing and promotional strategies, and rebuilt a sales culture in the stores. As a result, same store sales and EBITDA have improved each year since the acquisition.”

Giesbrecht reported that during the company’s most recent quarter it experienced a 3% increase in same-store sales, and significant improvement in both gross margin and EBITDA.

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Wal-Mart: $4 drugs save shoppers $1 billion

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Wal-Mart senior vp and president of health and wellness, Dr. John Agwunobi, is scheduled to address to the Council of Teaching Hospitals in New Orleans later today, the company reported. Dr. Agwunobi will speak about the success of Wal-Mart’s $4 prescription program, which has saved customers more than $1 billion since its launch in September 2006, according to Wal-Mart.

In his prepared remarks, Agwunobi will note, “While $1 billion in savings is an astonishing achievement, the real savings to America — and its health care system — are even larger. That’s because many of our competitors have also lowered their prices. $4 prescriptions now represent approximately 40% of all filled prescriptions at Wal-Mart. Nearly 30% of $4 prescriptions are filled without insurance — significantly higher than the 10% industry trend. But more importantly, this program has meant that people can now take the drugs that were prescribed to them. They no longer need to cut pills in half or not take the drugs at all.”

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PacSun 4Q comps slide

BY CSA STAFF

ANAHEIM, Calif. Pacific Sunwear of California today announced that total sales of $420.1 million for its 13-week fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, compared with total sales of $455.8 million for the 14-week fourth quarter of fiscal 2006, a 7.8% decrease.

Total company same-store sales decreased 2.2% during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007. By concept, PacSun same-store sales increased 2.1% and demo same-store sales decreased 31%.

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007, the company recorded net income from continuing operations of $7.6 million, or 11 cents per diluted share, compared to $11.5 million, or 16 cents per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2006. Fourth quarter results for each period exclude the income statement impact of One Thousand Steps in both years due to its designation as a discontinued operation during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007.

“I am very pleased by the continuing progress shown by our PacSun business during the fourth quarter,” commented Sally Frame Kasaks, ceo. “We completed a solid holiday season, driven by continued progress in improving our apparel business.”

Total sales for fiscal 2007 (52 weeks) ended Feb. 2vwere $1.45 billion, an increase of 0.8% over total sales of $1.44 billion during fiscal 2006 (53 weeks) ended Feb. 3, 2007.

Total company same-store sales increased 0.7% during fiscal 2007. By concept, PacSun same-store sales increased 3.4% and demo same-store sales decreased 19.6%. Due to the 53rd week in fiscal 2006, same-store sales for fiscal 2007 are compared to the 52-week period ended Feb. 3, 2007.

For fiscal 2007, the company recorded a net loss from continuing operations of $18.6 million, or 27 cents per diluted share, compared to net income from continuing operations of $43.9 million, or 62 cents per diluted share, in fiscal 2006. These fiscal year results exclude the income statement impact of One Thousand Steps in both years due to its designation as a discontinued operation during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2007.

For fiscal 2008, the company expects a 3% to 4% increase in PacSun same-store sales. Earnings from continuing operations in fiscal 2008 are expected to be between of 73 cents and 77 cents per diluted share.

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