Pacific Sunwear of California, Inc., announced today that net sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2012 ended July 28, 2012, were $210.3 million versus net sales of $200.9 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2011 ended July 30, 2011.
On a GAAP basis, the Company reported a loss from continuing operations of $17.5 million, or $(0.26) per share, for the second quarter of fiscal 2012, compared to a loss from continuing operations of $17.5 million, or $(0.26) per share, for the second quarter of fiscal 2011. The loss from continuing operations for the Company's second quarter of fiscal 2012 included a non-cash loss of $8.2 million, or $0.12 per share, related to a derivative liability that resulted from the issuance of the Convertible Series B Preferred Stock (the "Series B Preferred") in connection with the term loan financing the Company completed in December 2011.
Oil rose to a three-month high in New York amid speculation that central banks in the U.S. and China will ease monitory policy to stimulate growth.
West Texas Intermediate futures added as much as 1.1 percent after minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s last meeting showed many policy makers favor more stimulus unless the economic recovery picks up. People’s Bank of China Governor Zhou Xiaochuan said adjustments to interest rates and banks’ reserve requirements are still possible. U.S. crude inventories dropped 5.4 million barrels last week, the Energy Department said. That was more than forecast.
“All the bad news for the economy is good news because it means we are that much closer to quantitative easing,” said Torbjoern Kjus, an oil analyst at DNB ASA in Oslo. “The Chinese will likely do it because the leadership does not want to transfer power without securing the economy first.”
Oil for October delivery gained as much as $1.03 to $98.29 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest since May 4. The contract was at $97.91 at 11:33 a.m. London time. Prices are 0.9 percent lower this year.
Brent oil for October settlement advanced 1.1 percent to $116.14 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.
Cenveo Inc., a Stamford, Conn.-based printing services company, has informed state of Wisconsin officials that it has decided to close its plant in Kenosha, resulting in the loss of 103 jobs.
The Cenveo EPG Kenosha facility, at 5612 95th Ave., is expected to permanently close Oct. 19, according to a mass layoff notice filed with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. Under state law, employers employing 50 or more individuals in the state are required to give 60 days notice before a mass layoff or closing.
Cenveo acquired the Kenosha plant with its February 2011 acquisition of MeadWestvaco Corp.'s Envelope Product Group. Cenveo had previously said that the integration of the MeadWestvaco business would result in plant consolidations and job cuts.
Creel Printing has extended its G7 designation, achieving Master Printer certification across prepress, sheetfed, and heatset web operations. It is among an elite group of G7-certified printers in the southwest, and is the only company in Nevada holding all three merits. Creel has held the prestigious G7 distinction since 2009.
G7 Master qualification signifies that a company uses the most modern technology, standards, and quality controls to produce a near-exact match from proof to print, time after time, regardless of substrate. With Creel’s combined prepress/press certifications, customers are ensured the best possible accuracy from their final files, enabling easy one-stop sourcing.
Since it reduces waste and makeready times, G7 is also a more cost-effective and sustainable approach to printing—an added benefit.
“Perfect color matching makes a critical difference in companies’ advertising and marketing results, yet few print providers can achieve it,” noted Chris Evans, vp, premedia & customer solutions. “Creel’s closed-loop, proof-to-press G7-certified process guarantees exact reproduction. Our customers can be confident they are getting the very best possible color match and the meticulous quality Creel is known for.”
NewPage announced today that it has teamed with L.L.Bean and the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association (WWOA) in an effort to increase sustainably managed woodlands in six Central Wisconsin counties. The project partners will provide forest management assistance and third-party certification using certification standards of the American Tree Farm System to woodland owners at no cost.
The initial pilot program is targeted at WWOA-member woodland owners in the Central Sands Chapter, which includes: Wood, Portage, Waushara, Adams, Juneau and Marquette counties. To date, 42 landowners owning more than 6,000 acres of forest have committed to the program.
According to Brian Kozlowski, director of Sustainable Development at NewPage, "This groundbreaking project reflects a shared commitment to forest stewardship. At the same time it helps increase the availability of locally certified wood to support the growing demand from our customers, including L.L.Bean, seeking paper sourced from certified timberlands."
In 2011, 48 percent of the fiber purchased by NewPage came from certified sources. NewPage is the largest buyer of pulpwood in the Great Lake States. This program is designed to increase the level of certification and provide forest management resources to WWOA members.
Gannett Co., Inc. today acquired BLiNQ Media LLC, a leading global innovator of Social Engagement Advertising(SM) solutions for agencies and brands. Since 2008, BLiNQ has managed social media marketing campaigns for more than 600 of the world's largest advertisers.
"With demand for social media marketing solutions continuing to grow at a rapid pace, this acquisition is part of our ongoing transformation at Gannett and positions us to be a leader in both local and global social media marketing. BLiNQ will enhance Gannett Digital Marketing Services' ability to deliver a one-stop shop for all marketing needs, including social marketing," said Gracia Martore, president and CEO at Gannett.
"BLiNQ has the ability to deliver innovative and differentiated social media marketing solutions, especially at the local level, which is great news for businesses in our 100+ local communities, as well as for national brands that want to reach audiences in those communities."
BLiNQ will continue to operate its core business as part of Gannett's portfolio of brands, providing technology and media solutions for social advertising and engagement to agencies and brands. As part of Gannett's Digital Marketing Services organization, BLiNQ will help develop innovative social marketing solutions for businesses that want to reach local consumers. Gannett Digital Marketing Services will fully leverage BLiNQ's BAM 2.0 technology platform, which facilitates social media campaign planning, set-up, management, optimization and insights. BLiNQ will have a strong focus on delivering robust solutions for local social engagement at scale, including working closely with ShopLocal to help shape best practices and results in reaching, engaging and building loyalty with retail consumers via social media. Dave Williams, BLiNQ's CEO, will report to Vikram Sharma, president and CEO at Gannett Digital Marketing Services. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Direct mail spending rose to $21 billion in 2011. Up 2.9 percent from 2010, according to the Magna Advertising Group, direct mail is one of the largest advertising channels for U.S. businesses.
“Direct mail creates a one-on-one connection that’s hard for other media channels to match,” says Tom Foti, manager, Direct Mail and Periodicals. “The average household receives only two pieces of direct mail a day compared with 157 emails. It lets you incorporate coupons, reply cards, mobile barcodes — such as QR codes — URLs and other response mechanisms. Direct mail is a workhorse for generating leads, traffic and sales.”
Direct mail is a powerful part of an integrated marketing campaign. By using it, businesses can target advertising dollars on those most likely to respond. By choosing what to measure — from offers to creative elements — businesses can reach almost anyone and then use the data to improve effectiveness. “Tell customers the complete story; mail is not limited to a 30-second sound bite,” added Foti.
Virtually everyone has a mailing address, and direct mail allows businesses to tailor each mail piece with highly personalized messaging, offers and graphics — enabled by today’s technologies. Tap into countless creative formats, touching every sense through product samples or QR codes. Begin to learn more about your customers with surveys or reply cards. And as a highly trackable medium, mail lets you monitor impact and return on investment.
Collective Brands stockholders voted at a special meeting on Tuesday to approve the sale of the company for about $1.32 billion.
Collective, which owns the Payless and Stride Rite shoe store banners, had announced in May that it accepted a purchase offer from a group that includes Wolverine Worldwide Inc., Blum Capital Partners and Golden Gate Capital.
The transaction will split Payless and Collective’s brand development and licensing arm into separate companies. Wolverine, which owns Hush Puppy, will acquire the Performance + Lifestyle Group, which includes Sperry Top-Sider, Saucony, Stride Rite and Keds.
Microsoft is rolling out a series of new ad units to support the more than $8.4 billion that marketers spend quarterly on online media ads. The units, ranging in size and function, will assist marketers with multichannel advertising strategies across PC, tablet, Xbox, Skype and mobile.
VPAID ads, for example, are user-initiated ads highlighting video storytelling. Unlike pre-roll video ads, people can interact directly with videos instead of just watching them.
Mindmap, exclusive to the MSN home page, creates a digital circular-style ad of up to 30 products. The Magnetic Canvas ad creates a 3D effect when users hover over the ad. The Swell ad expands, but doesn't interfere with the content being read.
Polymorphic Ads allow advertisers to scale creative assets across multiple devices and ad sizes, freeing up production time and budgets. Eventually, these ads will run across MSN, Windows 8 apps, Xbox and mobile.
About 56% of those on the Internet visit MSN's pages monthly, and 76 million of them don't visit AOL or Yahoo, according to comScore. The data research firm also shows that consumers stay on Microsoft sites longer.
For the first time, mobile devices have topped laptops in public Wi-Fi network usage, according to a Q2 2012 study by location-based mobile ad network JiWire. JiWire serves ads to devices accessing the web via 30,000 public Wi-Fi locations in North America, the company reports.
In Q2 2011, 70% of public Wi-Fi network traffic stemmed from laptops, while only 21% came from smartphones and 9% from tablets, JiWire finds. But one year changed everything. In Q2 2012, laptop traffic sunk to less than half, 48%, while smartphone traffic jumped to 35% and tablets to 17%.
“This represents a major milestone: Mobile devices are leading a category that has historically been considered laptop-centric, and in places like restaurants and shopping malls,” says Dee Dee Paeseler, director of strategic marketing at JiWire. “Now it becomes more about reaching the right audience in the right location with the right message.”
Mobile devices dominated the airwaves in shopping malls and restaurants. 50% of Wi-Fi traffic in shopping malls stemmed from smartphones, 37% from laptops and 13% from tablets, JiWire finds. 72% of Wi-Fi traffic in restaurants came from smartphones, 20% from laptops and 8% from tablets, the study says.
Chico's FAS, Inc. today announced its financial results for the fiscal 2012 second quarter and twenty-six weeks ended July 28, 2012.
For the second quarter, the Company reported net income of $53.4 million, an increase of 23% compared to net income of $43.4 million in last year's second quarter and record earnings per diluted share of $0.32, an increase of 28% compared to $0.25 per diluted share in last year's second quarter.
For the twenty-six weeks ended July 28, 2012, the Company reported record net income of $107.0 million, an increase of 20% compared to net income of $89.3 million in the same period last year and record earnings per diluted share of $0.64, an increase of 25% compared to $0.51 per diluted share in the same period last year.
For the second quarter, net sales were $641.7 million, an increase of 16.4% compared to $551.4 million in last year's second quarter, reflecting comparable sales growth of 5.6%, square footage increase of 7.4%, and sales for Boston Proper of $32.6 million. The 5.6% increase in comparable sales for the second quarter was on top of a 12.8% increase in last year's second quarter, for a two-year stack of 18.4%, and reflected increases in both average dollar sale and transaction count. The Company's comparable sales growth primarily reflected the effectiveness of the Company's innovative marketing plans, a positive customer response to the Company's merchandise offering and new product launches.
Books-A-Million, Inc. today announced financial results for the 13-week and 26-week periods ended July 28, 2012. Net sales for the 13-week period ended July 28, 2012 increased 14.9% to $120.4 million compared with sales of $104.8 million in the year-earlier period. Comparable store sales for the second quarter increased 0.5%, compared with the 13-week period in the prior year. Net loss from continuing operations for the second quarter was $0.9 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, compared with net loss from continuing operations of $2.9 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, in the year-earlier period.
For the 26-week period ended July 28, 2012, net sales increased 12.7% to $233.5 million from net sales of $207.2 million in the year-earlier period. Comparable store sales declined 1.8% compared with the same period in the prior year. For the 26-week period ended July 28, 2012, the Company reported net loss from continuing operations of $2.8 million, or $0.18 per diluted share, compared with net loss from continuing operations of $6.3 million, or $0.40 per diluted share, in the year-earlier period.
Oil dropped from its highest close in three days in London as concern that demand will weaken countered signs of shrinking supply in the U.S., the world’s biggest crude consumer.
Brent dropped as much as 1 percent after Japan’s trade deficit widened more than expected as Europe’s debt crisis and a slowdown in China dragged down exports. An Energy Department report today may show U.S. crude supplies slid by 250,000 barrels, according to a Bloomberg News survey. United Nations nuclear inspectors and Iran agreed to meet again over access to disputed documents, people and sites allegedly linked to the Persian Gulf country’s nuclear program.
“Oil is going to be caught in a tug-of-war range until the issues of geopolitical turbulence or economic slump are resolved,” said Christopher Bellew, a senior broker at Jefferies Bache Ltd. in London. “Ultimately, bullish factors such as tension over Iran, instability in the wider Middle East and good economic growth in emerging markets will win out, but for now the market will be range-bound.”
Brent oil for October settlement on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange was at $113.59 a barrel, down $1.05, as of 12:06 p.m. local time. Yesterday, it settled at $114.64, the highest since Aug. 16. The European benchmark crude was at a $17.25 premium to New York-traded West Texas Intermediate grade, from $17.80 yesterday.
Barnes & Noble, Inc. today reported sales and earnings for its fiscal 2013 first quarter ended July 28, 2012.
First quarter consolidated revenues increased 2.5% to $1.5 billion as compared to the prior year. First quarter consolidated earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) was $4 million as compared to a loss of $24 million a year ago. The consolidated first quarter net loss declined 28% as compared to the prior year to $41.0 million, or $0.78 per share.
“During the first quarter, we continued to see improvement in both our rapidly growing NOOK business, which saw digital content sales increase 46% during the quarter, and at our bookstores, which continue to benefit from market consolidation and strong sales of the Fifty Shades series,” said William Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble. “The growth in comps at retail and the continued strong growth of our digital content business, as well as increased cost management focus, were drivers in the business turning from an EBITDA loss last year to slightly positive EBITDA in the first quarter of this year. As announced yesterday, we are excited to expand our award winning NOOK digital bookstore and devices beyond the U.S. market and to work with U.K. retailers to bring millions of U.K. customers the best experience in digital reading.”
PPPC released final July print/write stats after the close. Shipments fell 5.5% y/y, improved from the 11.5% drop in June. Inventories fell 14kt vs normal 20kt rise. Op rate was flat m/m and up 200bp m/m. Net imports were flat m/m and up 3% y/y.
While still reflecting weak markets, the data was notably improved from a particularly weak June. The shipment decline moderated to 5.5% from 11.5% with only a slightly easier comp in July. Demand fell 5.1% year over year versus an approximate 12% decline in June. Inventories fell 14,000 tonnes (~1%) compared to a typical 20,000 increase in July. Inventories stand at the lowest level since February. Trade flows were mixed. Net imports were flat month over month and up 3% year over year. Total imports rose 11.6% year over year, while exports increased 16.4% compared to July 2011. While the pickup in imports is consistent with recent currency moves, the rise in exports is less intuitive.
In terms of grades, coated groundwood had the highest operating rate and best shipment/demand trends. However the grade faced a materially easier comp than other grades. The grade had a slightly favorable inventory change compared to normal. Coated groundwood had the most negative trade trends.
dELiA*s, Inc., a multi-channel retail company comprised of two lifestyle brands primarily targeting teenage girls and young women, today announced the results for its second quarter of fiscal 2012.
Second Quarter Fiscal 2012 Highlights:
Total revenue increased 8.9% to $48.3 million from $44.3 million in the second quarter of fiscal 2011. Revenue from the retail segment increased 8.8% to $28.7 million, including a comparable store sales increase of 14.0%. Revenue from the direct segment increased 9.1% to $19.6 million.
Consolidated gross margin was 33.4% compared to 27.0% in the prior year quarter, primarily due to increased merchandise margins and leveraging of occupancy costs.
Net loss was $5.2 million, or $0.17 per diluted share, compared to net loss for the second quarter of fiscal 2011 of $9.6 million, or $0.31 per diluted share.
Urban Outfitters, Inc., a leading lifestyle specialty retail company operating under the Anthropologie, BHLDN, Free People, Terrain and Urban Outfitters brands, today announced net income of $61 million and $95 million for the three and six months ended July 31, 2012, respectively. Earnings per diluted share were $0.42 and $0.65 for the three and six months ended July 31, 2012, respectively.
Total Company net sales rose by 11% over the same quarter last year to $676 million. Comparable retail segment net sales, which include our comparable direct-to-consumer channel, increased 4% for the quarter, while comparable store net sales decreased 1%. Comparable retail segment net sales at Free People and Urban Outfitters increased 12%, and 6%, respectively, while comparable retail segment net sales at Anthropologie were flat for the quarter. Direct-to-Consumer net sales increased 22% and wholesale segment net sales rose 17% for the quarter.
The government of Nova Scotia has announced a $124.5 million funding package in efforts to help resume operations at the idle NewPage Port Hawkesbury paper mill this fall.
Premier Darrell Dexter made the announcement Monday, saying he was certain the funding would help the mill's prospective buyer, Pacific West Commercial Corp., turn the facility's fortunes around.
"The province has done its due diligence, and we are confident that it is the right plan for the province," Dexter told a news conference in Port Hawkesbury.
"The mill has the most modern machine in North America and we are helping position it to take advantage of this and become a leader in producing supercalendered paper."
Under the deal, the provincial government is offering Pacific West Commercial financial incentives including $66.5 million in loans, $26.5 million of which could be forgiven if the Vancouver company meets certain criteria.
The government has also agreed to buy about 20,840 hectares of land from NewPage Port Hawkesbury for $20 million, a purchase Dexter says will help meet the province's commitment to increase Crown land share. That money would go to the mill's creditors, who accepted a settlement last week on what they're owed from the mill.
The deal would also give Pacific West Commercial $3.8 million annually for 10 years to support forest land management and sustainable harvesting.
A spokesman for Pacific West Commercial said the funding was a "critical" step toward restarting one of the mill's two papermaking machines, which the company is hoping to do next month.
Meredith Corporation, the leading media and marketing company serving American women, announced today that it will increase the rate base for EatingWell magazine to 750,000 from 600,000, effective with the July/August 2013 issue. The bump represents a 115 percent increase in EatingWell magazine’s circulation since Meredith acquired the EatingWell brand in June 2011.
In addition to strong subscription growth, EatingWell’s newsstand sales surged 45 percent in the first half of 2012, according to ABC’s Fas Fax, further contributing to the magazine’s overall circulation growth.
“Our momentum reflects EatingWell’s strong and growing connection to the consumer,” says Tony Catalano, Publisher, EatingWell. “Healthy eating is top of mind for Americans, and we’re pleased to see them turning to the pages of EatingWell for trusted and engaging content.”
In addition to its flagship bimonthly magazine, EatingWell is a diversified brand produced over multiple formats, including a robust website (www.eatingwell.com
), content and brand licensing, custom publishing, as well as consumer cookbooks and health books. The brand is a leading source of science-based nutrition advice, delicious, easy and healthy recipes, and useful shopping information.
The Carrier Bag Consortium (CBC) and the Packaging and Films Association (Pafa) have attacked an antibag campaign for its "unfounded" environmental statements.
The industry bodies say that the 'Break the Bag Habit' campaign, backed by Keep Britain Tidy, the Marine Conservation Society and the Council for the Protection of Rural England, is a cynical ploy aimed at justifying a bag tax which would generate funds to fill a hole in charity income left by reduced Government grants and falling public donations.
The four organisations that formed 'Break the Bag Habit' have calling on Westminster to reduce litter and waste by requiring retailers to introduce a small charge on all single-use bags. In response the CBC and Pafa have written to all U.K. MPs and major U.K. retailers pointing out the flaws in the latest campaign and urging them to stick to the voluntary code of practice.
"The rigorous Environment Agency Life Cycle Analysis (SC 030148) clearly demonstrates that alternatives to the lightweight plastic bag require far more of the earth's precious resources to produce and have far higher impacts across a life cycle. We believe this new campaign is a blatant misrepresentation of the facts contained in this report and by targeting carrier bags diverts attention and resources from the macro- environmental issues we face," the two industry bodies say in their joint letter.
"We are particularly surprised at the about turn from Keep Britain Tidy whose statistical surveys have constantly reinforced the insignificant impacts of carrier bags on the environment," said Barry Turner Pafa CEO. "Why is Keep Britain Tidy targeting carrier bags when surveys show they represent just 0.03% of littered items in our environment?"
Packaging giant Bemis Co., a firm with a 130-year history in the Twin Cities, is closing a plant in St. Louis Park and will close one in Minneapolis by year's end.
The closings will leave 158 people looking for work -- 96 employees at the Minneapolis operation and 62 at the St. Louis Park plant. Both factories make flexible packaging for food under the Curwood brand, a division of Bemis.
Bemis has been drifting away from the Twin Cities for decades. In 2006, the company moved its corporate headquarters to Neenah, Wis., a Fox Valley town that was a center for the paper industry and has evolved into a packaging hub. The company had been growing in Wisconsin, not Minnesota, and wanted to move its executives closer to its geographic center.
Melanie Miller, a vice president and treasurer for Bemis, said the two Twin Cities plants slated for closing came under Bemis' control -- along with 21 other facilities -- when the company acquired Alcan in 2010 for $1.2 billion. Bemis has other factories that produce the same products.
The St. Louis Park plant will close by Aug. 31, and the Minneapolis plant will close between Oct. 1 and the end of 2012, according to letters that Bemis sent to state officials. Workers in St. Louis Park are getting help with finding new jobs, training and some financial assistance from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
Bemis calls itself the nation's largest producer of plastic packaging. It makes packaging for everything from diapers to grass seed to snacks, as well as pressure-sensitive packaging and sealed plastic for medical products. Revenue in 2011 was $5.3 billion. It has about 45 factories in North America, as well as operations in Europe, Latin America, Australia and Asia.
Ad spending on mobile messaging will reach $7.4 billion by 2017, fueled by a surge in location-based SMS text ads, according to a new forecast by U.K.-based Juniper Research.
While SMS may lack the pizzazz of rich media ads, they offer wider reach and a better chance of being opened, even if unsolicited, the firm said.
“Sending adverts using mobile messaging gives advertisers a simple, cheap and effective way of reaching consumers,” stated report author Charlotte Miller. “Adding location technologies is an even more powerful proposition, particularly for transactional advertising, as marketers can reach consumers who are near a location where they can purchase.”
Juniper acknowledges that while the idea of location-based SMS will likely raise privacy concerns, mobile operators such as O2 are relying on opt-in participation, allowing people to choose what types of offers they want to receive.
In 2008, FedEx Corp. announced it would seek to reduce carbon emissions intensity from its FedEx Express aircraft and improve the fuel efficiency of its FedEx Express vehicle fleet by 20 percent by 2020, as compared with its 2005 performance. Less than five years later, FedEx has nearly achieved these goals and is today announcing a revised, more aggressive target that continues to move the world’s largest express transportation company forward in an environmentally-conscious manner.
These efforts are detailed in the company’s fourth annual Global Citizenship Report, released today online. Also featured in the report are successes in the company’s other focus areas of Economics & Access, People & Workplace and Community & Disaster Relief.
“FedEx is dedicated to providing sustainable solutions for our customers,” said Mitch Jackson, staff vice president of Environmental Affairs and Sustainability, FedEx Corp. “This year’s Global Citizenship Report showcases our tireless efforts to maximize our efficiency while advancing our commitment to connect the world in responsible and resourceful ways.”
I received an email today about some important changes in the terms of service for Zinio magazine subscribers. On the benign level, you can now enable your iPad to automatically download issues for you. But on the more major level, Zinio has “enabled” continuous service for “most magazines” on your behalf. What this means is that when your initial subscription expires, Zinio will automatically renew it for you (and bill you at whatever price it wants!) without asking. This used to be available as an option; you could choose it or you could choose a standard subscription. What they’ve done is take away the standard subscription option and make this the only way to get magazines.
I most emphatically do not like what I am seeing from Zinio. They seem to do a lot of things for my supposed “convenience” that I don’t choose, such as sending me magazine issues I didn’t ask for, and putting things back that I deleted. And now, they want to bill me for new subscriptions without asking, because they’re worried that renewal notices are bothering me? No. They’re doing this because they know you’re likely to forget your subscription is nearly done, so they can get some extra money out of you before you notice the charges (at which point, if you call to cancel, they’ll refund you for the “unserved issues” you have left). This is called negative billing, and where I live, there was a highly publicized instance of it a few years ago–involving the cable company–in which the government stepped in and told them they couldn’t do it.
Oil climbed to the highest in three months in New York as speculation European leaders meeting this week will make progress on the region’s debt crisis supported prices against forecasts of rising supply in the U.S.
Futures advanced as much as 0.8 percent after halting a four-day advance yesterday. European leaders will hold meetings in Greece and Germany this week. U.S. oil supplies probably gained for the first time in about a month as imports increased and demand fell from a nine-month high, a Bloomberg survey showed before an Energy Department report tomorrow. Crude is trading close to its 200-day moving average.
“At the moment, signs for a Euro zone solution are positive,” said Guy Wolf, a strategist at London-based commodities broker Marex Spectron Group Ltd. “But we’ve been here before with Europe and converting intentions into actions has been too much for them. Oil supply has been tightening, but the demand environment is extremely poor.”
Crude for September delivery rose as much as 79 cents to $96.76 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest intraday level since May 11, and traded for $96.67 at 11:29 a.m. London time. The contract expires today. The more-actively traded October future rose 66 cents to $96.92.
In announcing the result, Amcor’s Managing Director and CEO, Mr Ken MacKenzie said: “The full year result represented a record underlying profit, record returns and a record dividend for the company.
“Profit before significant items increased 11.3% to $634.9 million, returns increased from 14.1% to 15.9% and the dividend increased 5.7% to 37 cents per share. During the year the company also completed a $150 million share buy-back.
“To achieve an 11.3% increase in underlying earnings was an outstanding effort by our co-workers, given subdued economic conditions and a $35 million adverse impact on reported earnings due to the appreciation of the Australian dollar.
“Operating cash flow for the year was $643.7 million. This was an outstanding result and underpins our ability to continue to grow shareholder value.
Best Buy Co., Inc. today announced GAAP net earnings from continuing operations were $12 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, for the three months ended August 4, 2012 compared to net earnings from continuing operations of $150 million, or $0.39 per diluted share for the prior-year period. Excluding previously announced restructuring charges, adjusted (non-GAAP) net earnings from continuing operations for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 were $68 million, or $0.20 per diluted share.
On August 20, 2012, the company's Board of Directors appointed Hubert Joly, a leading global CEO with expertise in turnaround and growth across the media, technology and service sectors, as Best Buy's President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of its Board of Directors. He is expected to begin his new role in early September.
The Domestic segment comparable store sales decline of 1.6 percent was driven by declines in gaming within the Entertainment revenue category, digital imaging and televisions within the Consumer Electronics revenue category and notebooks within the Computing and Mobile Phones revenue category. These declines were partially offset by comparable store sales growth in tablets and mobile phones within the Computing & Mobile Phones revenue category, the Appliances revenue category, and eReaders within the Consumer Electronics revenue category. The Domestic segment online channel revenue grew 14 percent compared to the prior-year period.
The International segment comparable store sales decline of 8.2 percent was driven by the lower growth in consumer spending in China and the continued impact from the expiration of government sponsored programs, which negatively impacted sales in Five Star. Market softness in notebooks, digital imaging and home theater in Canada also contributed to the International comparable store sales decline.
Hastings Entertainment, Inc., a leading multimedia entertainment retailer, today reported results for the three and six months ended July 31, 2012. Net loss was approximately $3.4 million, or $0.41 per diluted share, for the three months ended July 31, 2012 compared to a net loss of approximately $4.1 million, or $0.47 per diluted share, for the three months ended July 31, 2011. Net loss was approximately $2.5 million, or $0.31 per diluted share, for the six months ended July 31, 2012 compared to net loss of $3.6 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, for the six months ended July 31, 2011.
Financial Results for the Second Quarter of Fiscal Year 2012
Revenues. Total revenues for the second quarter decreased approximately $6.5 million, or 5.9%, to $104.1 million compared to $110.5 million for the second quarter of fiscal 2011. As of July 31, 2012, we operated 7 fewer superstores, as compared to July 31, 2011.
Gross Profit – Merchandise. For the second quarter, total merchandise gross profit dollars increased approximately $1.4 million, or 4.8%, to $30.3 million from $28.9 million for the same period in the prior year, primarily due to an increase in margin rates partially offset by a decrease in revenue. As a percentage of total merchandise revenue, merchandise gross profit increased to 33.9% for the quarter compared to 31.2% for the same period in the prior year, resulting primarily from a continued shift in mix of revenues by category, lower shrink and markdown expense.
Gross Profit – Rental. For the second quarter, total rental gross profit dollars decreased approximately $0.5 million, or 4.8%, to $10.0 million from $10.5 million for the same period in the prior year, primarily due to a decrease in revenue. As a percentage of total rental revenue, rental gross profit increased to 66.6% for the quarter compared to 60.5% for the same period in the prior year, primarily from lower depreciation and shrinkage expense.
Tempt In-Store Productions, a Quad/Graphics company, has been named a Featured Exhibitor at this fall’s Shopper Marketing Expo. The distinction is reserved for only 25 of the more than 150 companies exhibiting at the Chicago trade show October 16-18. The honor signifies that Tempt’s exhibit and offering is a “must see” for attendees looking for the newest game-changing products and services. Tempt will be using the event to debut Quad/Graphics’ Actable™ interactive signage.
Actable interactive signage – featuring image recognition, augmented reality, Near Field Communication (NFC) or traditional QR codes – creates an exciting and engaging multichannel experience in-store for any customer with an app-enabled smartphone. Applications can include product demonstrations, reviews, how-to videos, and in-store coupons and discount offers. Actable interactive signage provides a lower-cost multichannel in-store experience alternative to more expensive electronic kiosks and flat screen displays.
“This Featured Exhibitor honor confirms that Quad/Graphics and Tempt are leading the in-store path-to-purchase revolution,” said Joel Quadracci, Quad/Graphics Chairman, President & CEO. “By bringing signage to life, we enable retailers to interact with shoppers and offer a much more engaging, informative and purchase-activating experience.”
Apple is urging a federal court to reject the Justice Department's proposed settlement with a group of e-book publishers, calling the terms "fundamentally unfair, unlawful, and unprecedented."
DOJ's antitrust division sued Apple and five publishers in April, accusing them of colluding to raise the price of e-books. Apple and two publishers, Macmillan and Penguin Group, are fighting the charges. But the other three publishers — Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster — agreed to settle with the government.
In a filing on Wednesday, Apple argued that the court should not accept the settlement until Apple and the remaining publishers have had their day in court.
A survey released Thursday by Placecast found that U.S. parents are more likely to use their mobile phones for shopping-related activities compared to those without children under 18 years old in their household.
In fact, the Alert Shopper III poll, which was commissioned by Placecast and conducted by Harris Interactive, showed that parents were more active than non-parents across all aspects of digital commerce (mobile and online) - from making purchases via mobile phones to receiving text and email alerts, and taking action on them.
Twenty-seven percent of parents made an online purchase via their smartphone in the past year as compared to 17% of non-parents. The survey also found that parents are three times more likely than non-parents to make a purchase due to a text message from a retailer (9% of parents, versus 3% of non-parents). Parents are twice as likely to check-in to a location-based social network using their phones, when compared with non-parents (11% versus 5%).
The survey revealed that over half of the parents surveyed own smartphones, compared to just over a third of non-parents (52% versus 35%). Parents have come to rely on their mobile phones to make their lives easier – whether that means using the GPS on their phones to find a retailer, receiving text alerts from merchants, making an online purchase using their phones, or redeeming an offer from a daily deals company like Groupon. In all of these areas, parents reported a greater rate of use on their phones within the past year, when compared to non-parents. The data also shows that parents are twice as likely to use their phone’s GPS to find a store as non-parents are, and also twice as likely to download an app from their favorite merchants (40% versus 22%).
Earlier this year, Warren Buffett said he intended to buy more newspaper assets -- and he meant it. This week his investment company, Berkshire Hathaway, almost doubled its stake in Lee Enterprises from 1.7 million shares to 3.23 million shares, according to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Lee’s flagship property.
That increases its stake in the company from 3% to around 6%.
The move has sparked speculation that Buffett might be planning to buy a controlling stake in Lee, which publishes 47 daily newspapers and 300 weekly and community papers in addition to the Post-Dispatch.
Despite a challenging advertising environment, a tumbling stock price and a brief stint in bankruptcy protection, Lee has managed to maintain a margin of 14%, according to the newspaper, making it an attractive target. However, Lee management said it has so far received no offers or exploratory messages from Buffett.
Kruger Inc. is pleased to announce that active and retired unionized employees of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper have approved the proposal to apply funding relief measures to their pension plan’s deficit.
These relief measures were essential to the Mill’s ability to compete in the market and will enable the Company to pursue its assessment of the Mill’s long-term viability. The next step will be for the Company to present a sustainability plan to its lenders and to the NL government within the coming weeks.
According to the final report issued earlier today by independent auditor Brian N. Hillier, the number of objections was the following for each group of members:
>Active members (321): 19 objections 5.9%
>Retired members (645): 7 objections 1.1%
Oil traded near its highest closing level in three months in New York, the longest streak of gains in a month, before Europe’s leaders meet to discuss combating regional debt turmoil.
Crude pared an advance of 0.5 percent after Germany’s Bundesbank stepped up its criticism of the European Central Bank’s plan to embark on potentially “unlimited” government bond purchases, widening a rift over how to tackle the sovereign debt crisis. European policy makers plan a week of intensive shuttle diplomacy to help resolve the situation. Saudi Arabia pumped at the highest level in more than three decades in June and monthly exports were the most since November 2005, according to the Joint Organization Data Initiative.
“I remain optimistic that a solution to the Euro crisis will be found,” said Michael Poulsen, an analyst at Global Risk Management in Middelfart, Denmark, who predicts prices will trade within a $4 range this week before advancing. “There is simply too much at stake to let the Euro project fail. From a longer perspective, upside bias for oil is warranted due to market fundamentals.”
Crude for September delivery was at $95.97, 4 cents lower, in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:07 a.m. London time, having increased as much as 52 cents to $96.53 a barrel. It rose 0.4 percent to $96.01 on Aug. 17, the highest close since May 11. The contract expires tomorrow. The more-actively traded October future was at $96.26. Oil’s run of gains is the longest since the seven days ended July 19.
The American Forest & Paper Association released its July 2012 Kraft Paper Sector Report yesterday. Total Kraft paper shipments were 138,000 tons, an increase of 3 percent compared to June 2012. Total inventory was 78,700 tons this month.
The American Forest & Paper Association has released its July 2012 U.S. Paperboard Report.
Total boxboard production decreased by 4.1 percent compared to July 2011 and decreased 0.4 percent from last month. Unbleached Kraft Folding production decreased over the same month last year but increased compared to last month. Total Solid Bleached Boxboard & Liner production decreased compared to July 2011 and last month. The production of Recycled Folding decreased compared to July 2011 but increased when compared to last month.
Gap Inc. today reported that net sales for the second quarter, which ended July 28, 2012, increased 6 percent to $3.58 billion compared with $3.39 billion for the second quarter last year. The company’s second quarter comparable sales increased 4 percent. Net income for the second quarter was $243 million, up 29 percent compared with the second quarter last year. Second quarter diluted earnings per share increased 40 percent to $0.49 compared with $0.35 last year.
Given second quarter performance, the company has raised its estimate for fiscal year 2012 diluted earnings per share to be in the range of $1.95 to $2.00, compared with $1.56 in fiscal year 2011.
Second Quarter Financial and Business Highlights
• In North America, Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy each delivered positive comparable sales for the second consecutive quarter.
• Total net sales for the Gap Inc. Direct division increased 24 percent to $384 million compared with $309 million last year.
• Net sales outside of the U.S. and Canada (including Gap Inc. Direct and Franchise) increased 7 percent; the company opened its first Old Navy store outside of North America in Tokyo and continued to expand its Gap brand store base in China.
• Franchise net sales increased 25 percent compared with last year and the company opened its 250th franchise store.
• The company opened 11 Athleta stores, doubling its fleet to 22 stores across North America.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., won 23 APEX awards in categories ranging from layout, writing, overall excellence and, for the first time, Web site content, writing, and design. Wiley received more awards overall than any other publishing house, company, or association.
APEX 2012, the 24th Annual awards for Publication Excellence, is an international competition that attracted 3400 entries to compete in 130 categories. Wiley’s awards were based on excellence in graphic design, editorial content, and success in achieving overall communications effectiveness and excellence.
Wiley’s awards included the APEX 2012 Grand Award for the Journal of Leadership Studies, edited by Jeremy Moreland and published on behalf of the School of Advanced Studies of the University of Phoenix.
Stein Mart, Inc. today announced financial results for the second quarter ended July 28, 2012.
Net income for the second quarter was $0.7 million or $0.02 per diluted share compared to net income of $1.3 million or $0.03 per diluted share in 2011. For the first six months, net income was $12.6 million or $0.29 per diluted share compared to $17.2 million or $0.38 per diluted share in the same period in 2011. The first six months of 2011 include a first quarter gain of $2.0 million, or $1.2 million after tax and $0.03 per share (see discussion of other income below).
Comparable store sales increased 1.6 percent for the second quarter, while total sales increased 2.3 percent to $276.4 million. For the first six months, comparable store sales increased 0.5 percent, while total sales increased 1.1 percent to $579.8 million.
The name of the game in mobile media is utility, not just content. Putting media in front of people at a specific moment of need is the real model for turning content into a service for which people will pay. Golf Digest will power a new feature in the GPS—enabled GolfLogix mobile app that will give golfers access to video instruction, tips, articles and a personalized version of the magazine itself.
Golf Digest Live goes with the golfer onto the course. Ordinarily GolfLogix is used by golfers to track their game with GPS precision. They can record not only scores but distances,a nd get in return analyses of weaknesses in their game. With the new upgrade to the $19.99 app, golfers get Golf Digest branded enhancements. Users get tips and drills that are personalized to their needs. You can get videos about golfing rules, tips for certain shots and even golf jokes. Each player gets a personalized clubhouse in Golf Digest Live where they can access the content.
The partnership also has a business model built-in. Golf Digest will bring sponsors with them into the app. Farmer’s Insurance and Nike are inaugural sponsors.
The partnership gives Golf Digest a sizable footprint among their target audience. GolfLogix says that it has 1.75 million members who access their utilities on smartphones.
After the recession cut a wide swath through the magazine business, some departed titles are being resurrected by publishers banking on continued interest by readers and advertisers. Rodale is bringing back men’s lifestyle magazine Best Life, which shuttered in May 2009, on a limited basis. The news was first reported by Women’s Wear Daily.
Rodale decided to bring Best Life back, given the accelerating recovery in luxury and men’s fashion advertising, WWD reports. The special October issue, featuring Hugh Jackman on the cover, still hasn’t closed. So far, it has attracted advertisers including Cartier, Ralph Lauren, and Calvin Klein. Another issue is planned for this spring.
As the timing indicates, Best Life has not returned to its regular monthly publication schedule -- yet. That will depend on advertiser and reader response. In its previous incarnation, it had a circulation of over half a million and contributors including David Mamet, Jay McInerney, Rick Moody, Anthony Bourdain and TC Boyle.
Best Life is one of a handful of defunct magazine titles tentatively returning to print. This year has seen the relaunch of M magazine by Fairchild, among others. But there’s still a much longer list of print titles on the rocks and likely to be closed. In July, IAC boss Barry Diller publicly speculated that Newsweek may cease its print publication in the not-too-distant future.
Catalyst Paper today announced that it has reached agreement with Pacifica Deep Sea Terminals Incorporated on the sale of its Elk Falls site in Campbell River. The $8.6 million sale of the 400-acre industrial site and adjacent properties is expected to close September 5, 2012. It completes Catalyst’s comprehensive bid review process which began earlier this year.
“We are very pleased to have attracted an experienced developer with the capacity and an industrial concept that will fully utilize the site’s infrastructure and bring new business and jobs to the region,” said Kevin J. Clarke, Catalyst President and Chief Executive Officer.
The former pulp and paper site was indefinitely curtailed in 2009 and closed permanently in 2010. Since then, equipment has been decommissioned and demolition work has been completed to prepare the site for sale and redevelopment to other industrial uses. The Elk Falls mill began operation in 1952, and at its peak, produced 784,000 tonnes of pulp, paper and kraft paper annually.
Casual Male Retail Group, Inc., the largest multi-channel specialty retailer of big & tall men's apparel and accessories, today reported operating results for the second quarter of fiscal 2012.
•Comparable sales increased 2.0% and total sales were essentially flat with the second quarter of fiscal 2011 at $100.5 million.
•Gross margin was 46.4% compared with 48.4% for the prior-year quarter.
•Effective tax rate for fiscal 2012 of approximately 40.4% compared with 9.4% for fiscal 2011 as a result of the reversal of the Company's valuation allowance in fiscal 2011.
•Income from continuing operations was $3.0 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, compared with $7.1 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, in the prior year. Assuming a normal tax rate of 40.0% for fiscal 2011, income from continuing operations for the second quarter of fiscal 2011 was $0.10 per diluted share.
•Net income was $1.2 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, compared to net income of $6.6 million, or $0.14 per diluted share in the prior year's second quarter. Assuming a normal tax rate of 40.0% for fiscal 2011, adjusted net income for the second quarter of fiscal 2011 was $0.09 per diluted share. See below for a reconciliation of these Non-GAAP measures.
While several colleges across the country are pushing electronic textbooks, touting them as more efficient and less cumbersome than regular textbooks, students are reluctant.
E-textbooks still account for only 9% of textbook purchases, says Student Monitor, which researches college student behavior.
"How excited can you expect to get about an e-textbook?" Student Monitor President Eric Weil says. "It's not a fashion statement, it's not a status symbol; it has to overcome the advantages that students see (in) a printed textbook."
Typically, students don't save much when opting to buy an e-textbook. For example, an organic chemistry e-textbook costs about $100, while the print version of the same book costs just $15 more.
For University of Wisconsin senior Leslie Epstein, having to buy an e-textbook only added to her expenses. She still found herself printing a copy of her textbooks in the two classes that required an electronic version, and said despite the lower price tag of an e-textbook, she'd buy the print version of the text "every time."
"I see what (universities) are doing to make textbooks cheaper and less paper-reliant, but I don't think it'll work in the long run," she says.
But universities are looking to combat that mindset with programs that urge — or force — students to adapt to the trend.
AAA’s Fuel Gage Report as of 8/17/12
National Unleaded Regular:
Current Average - $3.716/gallon
Month Ago Average - $3.426/gallon
Year Ago Average - $3.584/gallon
Highest Recorded Average - $4.114/gallon on 7/17/08
Current Average - $3.960/gallon
Month Ago Average - $3.697/gallon
Year Ago Average - $3.893/gallon
Highest Recorded Average - $4.845/gallon on 7/17/08
Current Exchange Rates as of 8/17/12
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.98736 (120 day high - 1.01905 on April 26, 2012; low 0.961252 on June 5, 2012)
American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.157246 (120 day high – 0.159363 on May 2, 2012; low 0.156521 on July 13, 2012)
American Dollar to Euro = 1.235641 (120 day high - 1.3454 on February 28, 2012; low 1.2089 on July 24, 2012)
American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.012594 (120 day high – 0.0128855 on February 13, 2012; low 0.0119026 on March 21, 2012)
American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.075707 (120 day high – 0.0793808 on March 14, 2012; low 0.0691788 on June 1, 2012)
The U.S. Postal Service's proposed deal with commercial mailing company Valassis Communications, offering a steep postage discount in return for increased mail volume, has encountered criticism from the newspaper industry and charges that the deal is unfair.
The USPS is proposing to cut Valassis' postage rates by up to 34% in exchange for more business from the Livonia, Mich.-based company, which mailed more than 3 billion pieces last year on behalf of advertisers. The USPS has estimated that increased volume from Valassis would net it an additional $15 million over three years, despite the discount.
However, newspapers are charging that the deal would harm their Sunday inserts efforts, since the USPS discount would allow Valassis to lower its rates. According to the Newspaper Association of America, the proposed deal could cost its members $1 billion in lost revenue as customers migrate to mailed advertisements.
The American Forest & Paper Association released its July 2012 U.S. Containerboard Statistics Report today.
Containerboard production rose 2.3% over June 2012 but fell 2.2% compared to same month last year. The month-over-month average daily production decreased 1%. The containerboard operating rate for July 2012 lost one point over June 2012 from 96.3% to 95.3%.
Aeropostale, Inc., a mall-based specialty retailer of casual apparel for young women and men, today reported results for the second quarter of fiscal 2012, and provided guidance for the third quarter of fiscal 2012.
Net income for the second quarter of 2012 was approximately $0.1 million, or $0.00 per diluted share. Net income for the second quarter of 2011 was $2.9 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, which included a non-recurring pre-tax benefit to the Company's gross profit of $8.7 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, which resulted from the resolution of a dispute with one of the Company's sourcing agents. Of this benefit, $8.0 million, related to periods prior to fiscal 2011. Excluding this item, the adjusted net loss for the second quarter of 2011 was ($1.7) million, or ($0.02) per diluted share.
For the second quarter of fiscal 2012, net sales increased 4% to $485.3 million, from $468.2 million in the year ago period. Comparable sales, including the e-commerce channel, for the second quarter were essentially flat compared to a 12% decrease last year. Comparable store sales, excluding the e-commerce channel, for the second quarter decreased 1%, compared to a 14% decrease last year.
Limited Brands, Inc. today reported 2012 second quarter results.
Adjusted earnings per share for the second quarter ended July 28, 2012, were $0.50 compared to adjusted earnings per share of $0.48 for the quarter ended July 30, 2011. Second quarter adjusted operating income was $308.9 million compared to $307.0 million last year, and adjusted net income was $147.2 million compared to $150.7 million last year. Adjusted results exclude certain significant items as detailed below:
•In 2012: A pre-tax charge of $3.6 million, or $0.01 per share, related to La Senza store closures.
•In 2011 (totaling to a benefit of $0.25 per share): A non-taxable gain of $147.1 million, or $0.47 per share, and a pre-tax expense of $113.4 million, or $0.22 per share, related to the charitable contribution of all of the company's remaining shares of Express (NYSE: EXPR) to the Limited Brands Foundation.
Including the significant items above, reported second quarter earnings per share were $0.49 compared to $0.73 last year; operating income was $305.3 million compared to $193.5 million last year; and net income was $143.6 million compared to $231.2 million last year.
Comparable store sales for the second quarter increased 8 percent, and net sales were $2.399 billion compared to $2.458 billion last year. Second quarter 2011 sales included $216.6 million attributable to the third party apparel sourcing business, which was sold in November 2011.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. today reported financial results for the quarter ended July 31, 2012. Net sales for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 were $113.5 billion, an increase of 4.5 percent from $108.6 billion in the second quarter last year. Net sales for this quarter included a negative currency exchange rate impact of approximately $2.2 billion. Without the currency impact, net sales would have been $115.7 billion. Membership and other income increased 4.7 percent to $762 million. Total revenue was $114.3 billion, an increase of 4.5 percent from last year.
Income from continuing operations attributable to Walmart for the quarter was $4.0 billion, up 5.7 percent from the second quarter last year. Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations attributable to Walmart (EPS) for the second quarter of fiscal 2013 were $1.18. By comparison, last year’s reported EPS were $1.09. The company had several items last year that negatively impacted the second quarter by approximately $0.03 per share.