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Good Quarter For Several Nat’l Chains


A variety of national retailers all reported
quarterly financials as Black Friday looms ahead, with
most posting at least slightly higher sales and profits.

Target, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Staples and BJ’s
Wholesale all had relatively positive results for the quarter,
ended in October, with only Systemax having lower
profits, but those were based on record sales.


reported higher net earnings of $535 million for
the quarter, ended Oct. 30, compared with $436 million
in the prior-year period. Sales increased 3 percent in the
third quarter to $15.2 billion in 2010, from $14.8 billion in
2009, due to a 1.6 percent increase in comp-store sales
combined with the contribution from new stores. Thirdquarter
segment profit increased to $130 million, from
$60 million a year ago, as bad debt expense declined 64
percent, from $301 million in third quarter 2009, to $110
million this year.


reported a 17.4 percent increase in net earnings,
to $404 million, for the third quarter, ended Oct. 29.
Lowe’s managed to squeeze profits from sluggish sales
that rose less than 2 percent, to $11.6 billion, and flat
comp-store sales.


Home Depot

had net earnings that rose 21 percent
to $834 million for the three months, ended Oct.
31, while net sales rose 1.4 percent to $16.6 billion and
comp-store sales rose 1.5 percent in the U.S. The sales
gains, though slim, represent the fourth consecutive quarter
of positive comps for the No. 1 home-improvement
chain following three years of declines.


reported a 7 percent gain in net income
to $289 million and a slight increase in net sales from
$6.518 billion last year to $6.537 billion in this year’s fiscal
third quarter, ended Oct. 31. In its North American retail
segment, sales for the third quarter were $2.6 billion,
an increase of 1 percent in U.S. dollars and flat in local
currency compared with the third quarter of 2009. Compstore
sales for the third quarter in North America declined
1 percent vs. the third quarter of 2009.


, a maker and retailer of PCs, peripherals
and other CE products, posted a 32 percent decline in
net income, to $8.6 million, despite record third-quarter
sales. Net sales rose 14 percent to $862.7 million for the
three months, ended Sept. 30.

Sales for the consumer segment rose 6 percent
to $427.5 million during the quarter, including a 1 percentage-
point assist from favorable exchange rates and
WStore, its French e-tail subsidiary, while same-store
sales increased 4 percent.

“We are encouraged by the initial results of our [TigerDirect
and CompUSA] co-branding initiative and have
already begun to see increased traffic as a result of this
effort,” said Gilbert Fiorentino, CEO of Systemax’s technology
products group.

Profits at

BJ’s Wholesale Club

rose 32 percent to
$23 million for the third quarter ended Oct. 30. Net sales
for the No. 3 warehouse club chain increased 4.8 percent
to $2.6 billion for the three-month period, and same store
sales excluding fuel rose 1.5 percent.

Net income was buoyed by a one-time pre-tax charge
of nearly $12 million that was taken during the year-ago
quarter, as well as tighter expense controls and increased
revenue from membership fees.

— Additional reporting
by Alan Wolf