FINANCE

West Marine 2Q Profit Tumbles

BY CSA STAFF

Watsonville, Calif. West Marine Inc. said Thursday it earned a much smaller second-quarter profit as hefty charges and a soft economy crimped the boating-gear retailer’s results. Profit tumbled 79% to $4.4 million, from $20.8 million a year earlier.

The latest quarter was hurt by a $14.6 million tax accounting charge that lowered profit by 66? per share. Also, cooperation with a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation cost the company a penny per share, and an asset impairment charge totaled 6? per share.

Excluding items, profit declined only slightly to $20.5 million from $20.8 million a year earlier.

Sales also slid to $226.7 million from $247.1 million, and same-store sales dropped 7.8%.

Chief executive Geoff Eisenberg said results for the second quarter reflect ongoing softness in boating activity and the economy.

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Hannah Montana wake up offered by Wal-Mart

BY CSA STAFF

BENTONVILLE, Ark. Continuing to capitalize on the popularity of the Hannah Montana brand, Wal-Mart is now offering children the chance to get a wake-up call from the popular Disney Channel character.

Parents can log on to http://www.hannahmontanacalls.com and set the date, time and theme of their child’s wake-up call. The calls are available anytime through Sept. 15. The calls are free for land lines, but the company noted mobile phone charges may apply.

“Disney’s Hannah Montana series continues to be a top hit among kids and tweens ages nine to 14,” said Ron Johnson, vp of retail sales development for Disney Consumer Products. “Through this promotion, Wal-Mart is adding some extra fun and excitement to the back to school season for all Hannah Montana fans across the country to enjoy.”

Wal-Mart has long established itself as the “Hannah Montana Retail Headquarters” and announced that along with the wake-up calls it would be offering a number of Hannah Montana merchandise for back-to-school including clothing, accessories and school supplies.

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Wal-Mart selects Oracle for data analysis

BY CSA STAFF

REDWOOD SHORES, Calif. Wal-Mart has selected Oracle’s Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition Plus to provide data analysis for its operations, Oracle reported.

According to Oracle, Wal-Mart plans to use the system to administer its logistics, transportation, category management, finance, human resources, real estate, merchandising, store and club operations and other business resources, within Wal-Mart and Sam’s Clubs.

“Technology and analytics are essential to help us be more responsive and effective in serving Wal-Mart customers and Sam’s Club members,” said Rollin Ford, evp and cio of Wal-Mart. “The Oracle solution is very robust and it integrates well with our other applications, particularly as our business continues to grow in scale and complexity.”

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