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CIRCUIT CITY STORES, INC. REPORTS THIRD QUARTER RESULTS

 CIRCUIT CITY STORES, INC. REPORTS THIRD QUARTER RESULTS
 RICHMOND, Va., Dec. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Circuit City Stores, Inc. (NYSE: CC) today reported net earnings of $8.8 million, or 19 cents per share, for the third quarter ended November 30, 1991.
 Net earnings for the same period last year were $2.5 million, or 5 cents per share. Total sales rose 19 percent for the quarter to $694.0 million from $585.0 million in the third quarter of last year, and comparable store sales rose 1 percent.
 For the nine months ended November 30, 1991, total sales were $1.89 billion, net earnings were $34.2 million and net earnings per share were 73 cents. Comparable store sales declined 2 percent for the period. In the same period last year, total sales were $1.63 billion. Earnings for the nine months ended November 30, 1990, were $30.0 million and 64 cents per share before a one-time accounting adjustment. The adjustment, which reflects the cumulative effect of a change in the company's method of accounting for the sale of extended warranties, reduced earnings for the first nine months of last year by $53.5 million, or $1.15 per share.
 "Our third quarter results reflect the highly competitive environment engendered by continued low levels of consumer confidence and spending," said Richard L. Sharp, Circuit City's president and chief executive officer. "In this environment, consumers are more price conscious than normal and the competitive climate becomes highly promotional. A more aggressive stance on our part yielded comparable store sales that were above our expectations for the quarter, but the gross profit margin was 27.8 percent of sales versus 28.1 percent in the same period last year.
 "The decline in the gross profit margin was offset by a reduction in the expense ratio from 26.7 percent to 25.3 percent of sales," Sharp said. "This reduction reflects the higher-than-expected sales, our successful efforts to improve productivity and control expenses and a net contribution from our private-label credit operation."
 Circuit City's effective tax rate declined to 37.5 percent of sales from 39.0 percent in the third quarter of last year, as a greater portion of sales came from states with lower tax rates. The net profit margin was 1.3 percent in this year's third quarter compared with 0.4 percent in the same period last year.
 Circuit City completed its fiscal 1992 expansion program with the opening of 11 Superstores during the quarter. The third quarter openings included a two-store entry into Austin, Texas, and the company's first Superstore in Hickory, N. C. Superstores were added in Houston, Texas; Philadelphia, Penn.; and Los Angeles and San Diego, Calif. Superstores replaced consumer electronics-only stores in Tidewater and Lynchburg, Va.; Washington, D. C.; and Savannah, Ga. Sharp noted that the company is especially pleased with store performance in Dallas, Houston and Austin, Texas, which were the major new markets in this year's expansion program. The Houston and Austin stores introduced a new Superstore prototype that features an enlarged office electronics department and two home theater demonstration rooms.
 The company also opened nine Impulse stores during the quarter. The new stores are located in Edison, N. J.; Washington, D. C.; Los Angeles and Costa Mesa, Calif.; Syracuse and Poughkeepsie, N. Y.; Baltimore, Md.; Richmond, Va.; and St. Charles, Ill.
 In addition to the third quarter results, Sharp announced that Circuit City's board of directors has declared a quarterly dividend of 2.5 cents per share on its Common Stock payable January 15, 1992, to stockholders of record at the close of business on December 30, 1991.
 Circuit City is the nation's largest specialty retailer of brand-name consumer electronics and major appliances. With headquarters in Richmond, Va., it operated at the end of the quarter 184 Superstores, 10 Circuit City stores and 33 Impulse stores in the eastern, midwestern and western United States.
 CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF EARNINGS -- PERIODS ENDING NOVEMBER 30
 (Amounts in thousands except per share data)
 Three Months Nine Months
 1991 1990 1991 1990
 SALES $ 694,031 $ 585,041 $1,886,907 $1,625,732
 Cost of Sales, Buying
 and Warehousing 501,282 420,563 1,348,480 1,159,090
 Gross Profit 192,749 164,478 538,427 466,642
 Selling, General and
 Administrative
 Expenses 175,572 156,290 476,332 410,027
 Interest Expense 3,099 4,038 7,400 7,471
 EARNINGS BEFORE INCOME TAXES
 AND CUMULATIVE EFFECT OF
 CHANGE IN ACCOUNTING 14,078 4,150 54,695 49,144
 Provision for Income
 Taxes 5,279 1,619 20,510 19,167
 EARNINGS BEFORE
 CUMULATIVE EFFECT OF
 CHANGE IN
 ACCOUNTING $ 8,799 $ 2,531 $ 34,185 $ 29,977
 Cumulative effect on prior
 years (to February 28, 1990)
 of change in accounting for
 extended warranties
 (net of $34,205 income
 taxes) $ - $ - $ - $ (53,500)
 NET EARNINGS $ 8,799 $ 2,531 $ 34,185 $ (23,523)
 Earnings Per Share
 Primary & Fully
 Diluted $ .19 $ .05 $ .73 $ .64
 Cumulative effect of
 accounting
 change $ - $ - $ - $ (1.15)
 Net earnings per share
 primary and
 fully diluted $ .19 $ .05 .73 $ (.51)
 Weighted Average Number
 Common Shares and
 Equivalents Outstanding:
 Fully Diluted 47,250 46,174 46,895 46,624
 -0- 12/16/91
 /CONTACT: Ann M. Collier, Circuit City Stores, Inc., 804-527-4058/
 (CC) CO: Circuit City Stores, Inc. ST: Virginia IN: REA SU: ERN


CM -- CH001 -- 2355 12/16/91 08:34 EST
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