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REX Fiscal 4th-Qtr. Sales Up 3%

4/02/2001 02:00:00 AM Eastern

DAYTON, OHIO -Looking at a "very difficult retail year," REX Stores said net sales for its fiscal fourth quarter rose 3 percent to $159.1 million, compared with $155.1 million in the year-ago period. However, comp-store sales during the fourth quarter for stores open six full fiscal quarters fell 6 percent. Net income for the three months ended Jan. 31 dropped about 11 percent to $8.6 million, down from $9.6 million.

The retailer, which operated 262 stores in 37 states at the end of its fiscal year, said net sales climbed 2 percent to $473 million in fiscal 2001, compared with $464.3 million the previous 12 months. Comp-store sales in the fiscal year fell 6 percent. Net income increased 2 percent to $18.7 million, compared with $18.3 million the previous year.

REX, which reported record sales, net income and earnings per share in fiscal 2000, said per share amounts are based on common and common equivalent shares for fiscal 2000 and 1999 of 6.9 million shares, compared with 8.9 million shares.

Earnings per diluted share for the 2000 fourth quarter are based on 6 million common and common equivalent shares outstanding, compared with 9.9 million shares outstanding in the year-ago fourth quarter.

REX purchased 222,900 shares of its common stock during the fiscal fourth quarter and 181,900 shares subsequent to the close of the quarter, bringing the total number of shares purchased since January 2000 to nearly 4 million shares. The retailer still has about a half-million shares available for purchase in its buyback program. REX has about 5.3 million shares outstanding.