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VENTURE STORES, INC. REPORTS THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS

 O'FALLON, Mo., Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Venture Stores, Inc. (NYSE: VEN) reported earnings per share of $0.36 for the third quarter of 1993 (13 weeks ended October 30, 1993). Earnings per share before extraordinary items were $0.35 for the same period in 1992 (13 weeks ended October 31, 1992). Net earnings available to common shareowners for the quarter, before extraordinary items, were $6.2 million compared to $5.9 million a year ago. Third quarter 1993 sales were $446.5 million versus $391.9 million last year. Comparable store sales increased 2.2 percent.
 Year-to-date earnings per share before extraordinary items (39 weeks ended October 30, 1993) were $0.68 versus $0.96 for the same period last year (39 weeks ended October 31, 1992). Net earnings available to common shareowners, before extraordinary items, were $11.6 million compared to $16.1 million in 1992. Sales for the period were $1,213.2 million versus $1,142.8 million in 1992, a 6.2 percent increase. Comparable store sales decreased 0.7 percent.
 Venture's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Julian Seeherman said, "We are pleased with our results for the quarter. Sales were weak in August due to a poor Back-to-School selling season. Sales in September and October became stronger due to more normal-like conditions in both weather and business climate and sales of fall merchandise became much stronger. We are heading into the fourth quarter well prepared for the up-coming Christmas season."
 Cost of merchandise sold included LIFO charges of $0.6 million and $2.2 million for the third quarter and year-to-date periods of 1993, respectively. These compare to $1.0 million and $3.5 million for the same periods in 1992.
 Venture operates 104 quality discount retail stores in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Indiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky and Texas. Venture's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol VEN.
 VENTURE STORES, INC.
 CONDENSED STATEMENT OF EARNINGS
 (thousands, except per share)
 13 WEEKS ENDED
 Oct. 30, Oct. 31,
 1993 1992
 Net Sales $446,477 $391,900
 Costs and Expenses:
 Cost of merchandise sold 328,847 285,447
 Selling, general, admin.
 and other expenses 103,689 93,926
 Net interest expense 2,725 2,111
 Earnings before income taxes, extraordinary
 item and cum. effect of accounting change 11,216 10,416
 Provision for income taxes 4,377 3,855
 NET EARNINGS BEFORE EXTRAORDINARY ITEM
 AND CUM. EFFECT OF ACCTING. CHANGE $ 6,839 $ 6,561
 EXTRAORDINARY ITEM - (2,188)
 CUMULATIVE EFFECT OF ACCOUNTING CHANGE - -
 NET EARNINGS 6,839 4,373
 Dividends on preferred stock 625 625
 NET EARNINGS AVAILABLE TO COMMON $ 6,214 $ 3,748
 EARNINGS PER COMMON SHARE:
 Before extraordinary item and cumulative
 effect of accounting change $ 0.36 $ 0.35
 Extraordinary item - (0.13)
 Cumulative effect of accounting change - -
 Net Earnings $ 0.36 $ 0.22
 DIVIDENDS DECLARED PER COMMON SHARE $ 0.145 $ 0.14
 AVERAGE COMMON SHARES OUTSTANDING 17,040 16,868
 Components of Earnings as a Percent of Sales:
 Net sales (as a percent) 100.0 100.0
 Cost of merchandise sold (before LIFO charge) 73.5 72.6
 LIFO charge 0.2 0.2
 Selling, general, admin. and other expense 23.2 24.0
 Net interest expense 0.6 0.5
 Earnings before income taxes, extraordinary
 item and cum. effect of accounting change 2.5 2.7
 Provision for income taxes 1.0 1.0
 NET EARNINGS BEFORE EXTRAORDINARY ITEM
 AND CUM. EFFECT OF
 ACCOUNTING CHANGE (as a percent) 1.5 1.7
 See accompanying Notes To Condensed Financial Statements
 VENTURE STORES, INC.
 CONDENSED STATEMENT OF EARNINGS
 (thousands, except per share)
 39 WEEKS ENDED
 Oct. 30, Oct. 31,
 1993 1992
 Net Sales $1,213,173 $1,142,837
 Costs and Expenses:
 Cost of merchandise sold 898,679 835,833
 Selling, general, admin.
 and other expenses 286,292 273,097
 Net interest expense 6,204 6,208
 Earnings before income taxes, extraordinary
 item and cum. effect of accounting change 21,998 27,699
 Provision for income taxes 8,516 10,250
 NET EARNINGS BEFORE EXTRAORDINARY ITEM
 AND CUM. EFFECT OF ACCTING. CHANGE $ 13,482 $ 17,449
 EXTRAORDINARY ITEM - (2,188)
 CUMULATIVE EFFECT OF ACCOUNTING CHANGE 10,323 -
 NET EARNINGS 23,805 15,261
 Dividends on preferred stock 1,875 1,309
 NET EARNINGS AVAILABLE TO COMMON $ 21,930 $ 13,952
 EARNINGS PER COMMON SHARE:
 Before extraordinary item and cumulative
 effect of accounting change $ 0.68 $ 0.96
 Extraordinary item - (0.13)
 Cumulative effect of accounting change 0.61 -
 Net Earnings $ 1.29 $ 0.83
 DIVIDENDS DECLARED PER COMMON SHARE $ 0.43 $ 0.415
 AVERAGE COMMON SHARES OUTSTANDING 16,996 16,846
 Components of Earnings as a Percent of Sales:
 Net sales (as a percent) 100.0 100.0
 Cost of merchandise sold (before LIFO charge) 73.9 72.8
 LIFO charge 0.2 0.3
 Selling, general, admin. and other expense 23.6 23.9
 Net interest expense 0.5 0.6
 Earnings before income taxes, extraordinary
 item and cum. effect of accounting change 1.8 2.4
 Provision for income taxes 0.7 0.9
 NET EARNINGS BEFORE EXTRAORDINARY ITEM
 AND CUM. EFFECT OF ACCOUNTING CHANGE (as a percent)1.1 1.5
 See accompanying Notes To Condensed Financial Statements
 VENTURE STORES, INC.
 CONDENSED BALANCE SHEET
 (Unaudited)
 (thousands)
 Oct. 30, Oct. 31,
 1993 1992
 ASSETS
 Current Assets:
 Cash and cash equivalents $ 8,706 $ 13,766
 Accounts receivable, net 13,553 9,035
 Receivable from May - 3,493
 Merchandise inventories 370,491 335,830
 Prepaid income taxes 2,451 601
 Other current assets 11,807 8,436
 Total Current Assets 407,008 371,161
 Property and equipment, net 300,238 210,151
 Other assets 6,023 6,239
 TOTAL ASSETS $713,269 $ 587,551
 LIABILITIES AND SHAREOWNERS' INVESTMENT
 Current Liabilities:
 Short-term debt $ 61,000 $ 25,000
 Current maturities of long-term 2,958 911
 Accounts payable 229,496 198,742
 Accrued expenses 60,992 54,989
 Total Current Liabilities 354,446 279,642
 Long-term debt 100,976 91,828
 Deferred income taxes 10,042 14,081
 Deferred investment tax credit 916 1,549
 Other liabilities 3,813 4,983
 Deferred gain on sale/leaseback 23,741 25,178
 Shareowners' investment 219,335 170,290
 TOTAL LIABILITIES AND
 SHAREOWNERS' INVESTMENT $713,269 $ 587,551
 See accompanying Notes To Condensed Financial Statements
 NOTES TO CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
 INTERIM PRESENTATION
 The accompanying unaudited condensed financial statements should be read in conjunction with the audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended January 30, 1993, and the accompanying notes thereto, included in the Company's 1992 Annual Report to Shareowners. In the opinion of management, this interim financial information is fairly presented and all adjustments necessary for a fair statement of the results for the interim periods have been included; however, certain items are included in these statements based on estimates for the entire year. The interim operating results exclude the Christmas season and therefore may not be indicative of the operating results that may be expected for the full fiscal year. Certain prior year items have been reclassified to conform to the current year presentation.
 EXTRAORDINARY ITEM
 On September 4, 1992, the Company terminated the existing Credit Agreement with Citibank, N.A., as agent and lead bank and entered into a new Credit Agreement with First Chicago Bank, as agent and lead bank. The new agreement includes reduced borrowing costs and other fees, and provides for increased operating flexibility. As a result of terminating the old agreement, certain deferred financing costs, which were incurred when the old agreement was entered into and were being amortized over the life of that agreement, were taken as an extraordinary expense of $2,188 (after tax), or $0.13 per common share, during the third quarter of 1992.
 CUMULATIVE EFFECT OF ACCOUNTING CHANGE
 During the first quarter of 1993, the Company adopted Statement of Financial Accounting Standards No. 109, "Accounting for Income Taxes". This statement, which was issued in February 1992, requires the adjustment of previously deferred taxes for changes in tax rates (the liability method). Deferred income taxes on the Company's balance sheet had been based on historical income tax rates, and amounts provided for years prior to 1988 did not reflect the reduced rates established by the Tax Reform Act of 1986. The cumulative effect of this change increased net earnings by $10.3 million, or $0.61 per common share.
 -0- 11/9/93
 /CONTACT: Jack Burtelow of Venture Stores, 314-281-7800/
 (VEN)


CO: Venture Stores, Inc. ST: Missouri IN: REA SU: ERN

SH -- NY020 -- 2095 11/09/93 09:10 EST
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Date:Nov 9, 1993
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