Good Quarter For Several Nat'l Chains

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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


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