By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Mobile communications maker Cobra recorded a 30 percent drop in sales in the first quarter, reaching $21 million, compared with $30 million in the year-ago first quarter.
The company reported a net loss of $236,000, compared with net income of $722,000 in the same period in 2001.
"While we are not satisfied with our first quarter results, we remain confident that our full-year performance will reflect growth in both sales and earnings," said president/CEO Jim Bazet.
More specifically, Bazet said Cobra's first quarter is traditionally its slowest of the year. Also, he said this first quarter's results suffer from comparison to what was an unusually strong first three months in 2001. Finally, he said, retail customers responded to continuing economic uncertainty by minimizing inventories in the first quarter.
Cobra said its reduced gross margin, as well as its net loss for the quarter, were primarily the result of reducing prices or providing more attractive rebate programs to minimize inventories of products that were about to be replaced by new models.
Looking ahead, Cobra anticipates resuming year-over-year growth in sales, according to Bazet. "While we envision a return to profitability in this quarter, we are hesitant to forecast growth over the second quarter of last year, excluding the expenses associated with the terminated Lowrance transaction.
"On the other hand, for the year, we remain very confident that both sales and earnings will exceed the results of 2001, even after excluding the Lowrance expenses," said Bazet.
Bazet noted that Cobra would be entering the fast growing Global Positioning System market with introduction of a three-model, handheld line during this coming fall.
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