Dayton, Ohio - Focusing on the "products it sells best," namely high-definition televisions, Rex Stores boosted fiscal first quarter sales 2 percent, hitting $95.4 million, up from $93.5 million in the same three months last year.
Higher sales in the quarter reflected increased dollar volume in HDTV-ready large-screen televisions, said the specialty retailer. Most important, comp-store sales climbed 5 percent in the first three months.
Net income in the first quarter, ended April 30, however, dipped to $3.1 million, down from $4.2 million in the year-ago period.
Net income for the first quarter of 2003 reflects about $3.1 million of pre-tax investment income from the sales of the company's entire partnership interest in a synthetic fuel limited partnership. As previously reported, the Internal Revenue Service is auditing this limited partnership.
Of the $3.1 million quarterly profit, about $1.8 million of the payments relating to sales of certain portions of the limited partnership interest due the company during the quarter are being held in escrow, pending results of the audit.
Rex, which operates 252 stores, purchased about 372,500 shares of its common stock during the fiscal first quarter. Since the close of the quarter, it has purchased about 97,170 additional shares. As of June 2, Rex had about 260,480 shares remaining available to purchase under its buy-back program.