By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
The Woodlands, Texas — A remarkable fourth-quarter retail performance could not offset a sharp increase in late customer payments at Conn’s, forcing the chain to lower its earnings outlook.
The preliminary results, announced this morning, drove the company’s shares down by the double digits in pre-market trading.
Net retail sales for the fiscal fourth quarter, ended Jan. 31, rose 45 percent to $301.6 million and same-store sales soared 33.4 percent, while retail gross margin increased by more than 300 basis points to 40 percent year over year.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.
Bentonville, Ark. — Wal-Mart Stores reported higher net sales but lower net income in its fourth quarter and fiscal year, ended Jan. 31.
Net sales for the fourth quarter were $128.8 billion, an increase of 1.4 percent over last year. This quarter included the negative impact of approximately $1.8 billion from currency exchange rate fluctuations. On a constant currency basis, net sales would have increased 2.8 percent to $130.6 billion. Membership and other income for the fourth quarter increased 12.7 percent vs. last year.
Bellevue, Wash. – HTC America launched new post-sales programs and services under the HTC Advantage banner to help turn around its shrinking market share.
Under the program, users of HTC One family phones get a free cracked-screen replacement during the first six months of ownership, additional 25GB to 50GB of free Google Drive online storage of any file, and speedy Android OS updates for two years after a phone’s launch date.
Eligible phones are the HTC One, HTC One Max and HTC One Mini.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands — Retail-level unit sales of PNDs in North America fell 27 percent in the fourth quarter compared with the year-ago period and dropped 26 percent for the full year, GPS supplier TomTom said in its latest financial report.
Sell-through fell to 1.8 million units in the quarter and to 5.4 million units for the entire the entire year.
TomTom estimated its fourth-quarter share at about 15 percent, down 4 percentage points from the year-ago period
Overland Park, Kan. — Sprint’s high wireless churn rates and shrinking share of gross subscriber additions won’t begin to improve until the second half of the year when the company’s disruptive network upgrades get closer to completion in more markets, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse.
Taoyuan, Taiwan – HTC posted a full-year net loss in fiscal 2013 following a 2012 in which net profits plunged 72 percent.
Full-year revenues fell at double-digit percentage rates for the second consecutive year.
In fiscal 2013 ending December, revenues fell 29.6 percent to NT$203.4 billion ($6.71 billion); operating losses hit NT$4 billion ($131.9 million) compared with 2012’s operating profit of NT$18.8 billion ($620 million), and net losses hit NT$1.33 billion ($43.9 million) compared with 2012’s net profit of NT$17.6 billion ($580 million).
Shizuoka, Japan – Yamaha boosted third-quarter and nine-month sales and operating income thanks to currency fluctuations.
In the third quarter ending December, consolidated sales rose by 13.9 billion yen ($136.1 million), all of it attributable to currency fluctuations, company reports show. Third-quarter consolidated operating income rose by 5.5 billion yen ($53.9 million), 4.5 billion yen of which was the result of currency fluctuations.
Issaquah, Wash. – Costco said CE comp sales fell by the mid- to high-single digits in January amid gains in other product categories.
Results for the four-week period, ended Feb. 2, encompassed the Super Bowl TV sales cycle, and continued a nearly year-long trend for Costco’s CE business.
In a research note, Janney Montgomery Scott retail analyst David Strasser attributed the softness to an “extremely competitive and promotional” CE marketplace.
Tokyo – Sony reported net and operating profits and higher sales in its fiscal third quarter, while also announcing plans to make TV operations a separate subsidiary and to sell off its Vaio PC business.
The sale of Vaio and the revamp of its TV business will result in layoffs of about 5,000 by the end of fiscal year 2014, Sony said. The restructuring should result in 100 billion yen in savings starting in fiscal year 2015, the company noted.
Tokyo — Sharp Electronics reversed losses and posted higher sales in its nine-month results, ended Dec. 31, 2013.
Net sales were up 21 percent; net income was 17,720 million yen vs. a prior-year net loss of 424,347 million yen for the same period. Operating income was 81,472 million yen vs. a prior-year operating loss of 166,232 million yen.
Sharp said it experienced growth at home in Japan, as well as in the U.S. and China.