Woodbridge pushes for ODP nominees
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. Office Depot investor Woodbridge Equity is continuing to push fellow shareholders to vote for its proposed nominees to the board of directors. In a letter to investors, Woodbridge asked them to elect Mark Begelman and Martin Hanaka to Office Depot’s board of directors.
In the letter, Woodbridge described its concerns over Steve Odland, including his overall performance, excessive compensation and other corporate governance issues.
“Steve Odland is being paid an exorbitant amount despite his failure to perform and the fact that serious governance questions have arisen under his leadership,” said Alan Levan, president of Woodbridge Capital, the General Partner of Woodbridge Equity Fund LLLP. “As Office Depot’s stock price and market share steadily declines and SEC investigations are launched, Odland’s compensation has soared. We believe that this is unacceptable and that our highly-qualified nominees are the right people to ensure that shareholders don’t continue to see their hard-earned investments decline in value while senior management profits.”
JCPenney reports weak March sales
PLANO, Texas JCPenney reported that comparable-store sales decreased 12.3% for the five weeks ended April 5, consistent with the company’s most recent guidance. This compares with an 11% increase in last year’s period. Total sales in March decreased 10.3%.
According to the company, sales declines during the month were broad-based across most merchandise categories and areas of the country, including soft sales over the Easter period. Customers are responding positively to new American Living product across all categories in which it is available, and Sephora inside JCPenney continues to experience strong sales results.
Management’s guidance for the four-week period ending May 3, is for a mid- to high-single digit decrease in comparable-store sales, compared to a 3.4% decrease in last year’s April period. This guidance reflects the expectation for a continuation of recent trends and the benefit from an extra day of selling in this year’s April period.
Kohl’s March comps tumble
MENOMONEE FALLS, Wis. Kohl’s reported today that sales for the five-week period ended April 5 decreased 7.9% over the five-week period ended April 7. On a comparable-store basis, sales decreased 15.5%. For the nine weeks ended April 5, total sales decreased 3.2% and comparable-store sales decreased 11.1%.
Larry Montgomery, Kohl’s chairman and ceo, commented, “Sales in weather-sensitive businesses such as shorts, tanks, polos and sandals experienced significant declines on a comparable store basis, contributing to our sales shortfall. We have been conservative in our inventory planning and expense management and will continue to do so until the environment improves.”
The company now expects its first quarter comparable sales to be in the negative high-single digit range and its earnings to be 40 cents to 42 cents per diluted share.