Zale Q2 earnings rise as sales fall
Dallas – Zale Corp. reported a 10% in net earnings during the second quarter of fiscal 2014, rising to $51 million from $41 million in the same quarter the prior year. However, revenues dipped 2% to $656 million from $671 million, while same-store sales rose 1.9%.
Zale attributed the decline in revenues primarily to the net decrease of 86 stores compared to fiscal 2013 and a decline in the Canadian exchange rate, partially offset by the 1.9% constant currency same-store sales growth.
On Feb. 19, 2014, Signet Jewelers Limited and Zale Corp. announced they have entered into a definitive agreement for Signet to acquire all of the issued and outstanding stock of Zale for $21 per share in cash consideration. The transaction is subject to Zale stockholder approval, certain regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. The transaction is anticipated to close by the end of 2014.
Sprouts Farmers Market posts strong year; to open 22 to 24 stores
Phoenix – Same-store sales and strong performance at new stores helped drive impressive net come and revenue growth at Sprouts Farmers Markets Inc. during the fourth quarter and fiscal year 2014. On a year-over-year basis, net earnings more than doubled to $9.3 million from $5.9 million in the quarter and almost tripled to $51.3 million from $19.5 million.
Net sales grew 27% to $608.2 million, from $478.9 million during the quarter and increased 36% to $2.43 billion, from $1.79 billion in the fiscal year. Same-store sales grew 13.8% during the quarter and 10.7% during the year. During fiscal 2014, Sprouts expects to open 22 to 24 new stores.
Sprouts credited strong sales both at 19 new stores opened during the fiscal year and stores open a year or more for fueling its quarterly and annual fiscal growth. Direct store expenses also decreased. During the first quarter of fiscal 2014, the retailer expects same-store sales to rise 10.5% to 11.5% and 7 to 8% same-store sales growth during the year. Sprout also expects net sales to increase 16% to 18% during fiscal 2014.
Verizon opens cyber intelligence center
New York – Verizon Enterprise Solutions has opened the Verizon Cyber Intelligence Center (VCIC). The new center will offer advanced detection and response capabilities to better manage and mitigate cyber attacks.
The VCIC will deliver actionable intelligence to Verizon’s managed and professional security services clients through a blend of security analytics and dedicated security analysts, who will have access to sources of threat intelligence so they can help enterprises identify and respond to threats early in the attack cycle. The VCIC will synthesize data collected from the company’s global IP backbone, thousands of professional service engagements and investigations, the VERIS framework dataset of cyber incidents, and advanced threat management and big data tools and techniques to deliver unprecedented capabilities for clients.
Leveraging Verizon’s global security operations footprint across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific regions, VCIC security analysts will utilize tactical and operational intelligence derived from an environment handling millions of security incidents and trillions of data events per year, and the company’s DBIR dataset detailing more than 70,000 security incidents.
"Reliable and high-fidelity cyber intelligence is critical to detecting targeted cyber attacks and to implementing a timely and effective response," said Eddie Schwartz, VP of global security solutions for Verizon Enterprise Solutions. "Our new Cyber Intelligence Center will provide clients with a powerful weapon in safeguarding vital company information, intellectual property and customer data."