Continuing sales momentum in the large-screen TV category, cost controls and income from a limited partnership helped push net income for the fiscal year up 3 percent at Rex Stores, hitting $22.9 million, compared with $22.3 million the previous year.
However, the retailer's net sales for the fiscal 12 months, ended Jan. 31, dropped about 7.5 percent, to $428.6 million, compared with a year-ago $464.5 million. Comp-stores sales fell 5 percent in the period. Both sales and earnings dropped in the fourth quarter, with net sales declining 4 percent, to $146.3 million, from $151.8 million in the year-ago period. Comp-store sales for the quarter fell 1 percent. Net income for the fourth quarter decreased to $9.1 million, down from $10.9 million during the same three months a year earlier.
Rex achieved what it called "record full-year financial results, despite last year's difficult CE retail environment," thanks to the TV sales and cost containment.
Net income for the fourth quarter and full-year periods reflect about $1.6 million and $15.1 million, respectively, of pre-tax investment income from the sales of the company's entire partnership interest in a synthetic fuel limited partnership.
As previously announced, the Internal Revenue Service is auditing this limited partnership. Of the amounts stated above, about $800,000 and $5.8 million of the payments relating to sales of certain portions of the limited partnership interest due Rex during the fourth quarter and full-year periods, respectively, are being held in escrow pending the results of the audit.
Rex purchased about 694,000 shares of its common stock during the fiscal fourth quarter, bringing the total shares purchased in the fiscal year to about 1.55 million.