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VENTURE STORES INC. REPORTS THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS PER SHARE OF $0.32

        VENTURE STORES INC. REPORTS THIRD QUARTER EARNINGS
                        PER SHARE OF $0.32
    O'FALLON, Mo., Nov. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Venture Stores Inc. (NYSE: VEN) reported earnings per share of 32 cents for the third quarter of 1991, the thirteen weeks ended Nov. 2, 1991, up 33.3 percent from 24 cents per share in the same period last year. Net earnings for the quarter were $5.4 million compared to net earnings of $4.0 million for the same period a year ago.  Third quarter 1991 sales were $346.7 million, an increase of 2.6 percent over 1990 third quarter sales of $338.0 million.  Comparable store sales increased 1.2 percent.
    Year-to-date earnings per share through October 1991, the 39 weeks ended Nov. 2, 1991, were 78 cents compared to 49 cents last year.  Year-to-date net earnings increased to $13.1 million from $8.1 million a year ago.  Sales for the period were $1,000.5 million, an increase of 6.3 percent from sales of $941.2 million in 1990. Year-to-date comparable store sales increased 3.3 percent.
    Venture's chairman and chief executive officer, Julian Seeherman said,  "We are extremely pleased with the results of our third quarter which were achieved in spite of the continuing uncertainty about the economy and unseasonably warm weather in our markets.  We continue to see strong response to basic and value priced merchandise and believe that we are well positioned to take full advantage of this.  Among our sales leaders this quarter were underwear, activewear, children's accessories, men's flannel shirts, linens and bedding, and household consumables."
    Cost of merchandise sold included a LIFO charge of $1.2 million for the third quarter of 1991 vs. $3.4 million last year.  The year- to-date LIFO charge was $4.5 million this year vs. $6.5 million last year.
    Venture operates 84 quality discount retail stores in eight midwestern states, including four new stores which opened this past Sunday.  Venture is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol VEN.
                        VENTURE STORES INC.
                  CONDENSED STATEMENT OF EARNINGS
                            (Unaudited)
                   (thousands, except per share)
                           13 Weeks Ended         39 Weeks Ended
                         Nov. 2,    Nov. 3,      Nov. 2,     Nov. 3,
                          1991       1990         1991        1990
    Net sales           $ 346,713 $  338,003  $1,000,510   $941,209
    Costs and Expenses:
     Cost of merchandise
      sold                251,324    247,452     725,150    689,275
     Selling, general,
      administrative and
      other expenses       83,709     80,528     246,622    227,987
     Net interest expense   3,069      3,670       8,064     11,154
    Earnings before income
      taxes                 8,611      6,353      20,674     12,793
    Provision for income
      taxes                 3,165      2,312       7,573      4,655
    NET EARNINGS        $   5,446      4,041      13,101  $   8,138
    EARNINGS PER SHARE  $    0.32 $     0.24  $     0.78  $    0.49
    DIVIDENDS DECLARED
      PER SHARE         $   0.135 $    0.135  $    0.405  $   0.135
    AVERAGE SHARES
      OUTSTANDING          16,759     16,759      16,759     16,759
    Components of
      Earnings as a
      Percent of Sales:
    Cost of merchandise
      sold (in pct.)         72.5       73.2        72.5       73.2
    Selling, general,
      administrative and
      other expenses          24.1       23.8        24.6       24.2
    Net interest expense      0.9        1.1         0.8        1.2
    Earnings before income
      taxes                   2.5        1.9         2.1        1.4
    Provision for
      income taxes            0.9        0.7         0.8        0.5
    NET EARNINGS (in pct.)    1.6        1.2         1.3        0.9
      See accompanying Notes To Condensed Financial Statements
                     VENTURE STORES INC.
                  CONDENSED BALANCE SHEET
                       (Unaudited)
                       (thousands)
                                          Nov. 2,     Nov. 3
                                           1991        1990
    ASSETS
    Current Assets:
        Cash and cash equivalents     $   11,818  $   12,947
        Accounts receivable, net           9,271       9,755
        Receivable from May                3,834       7,920
        Merchandise inventories          285,554     297,403
        Other current assets               5,804       6,814
        Total Current Assets             316,281     334,839
    Property and equipment, net          162,169     135,420
    Other assets                          11,568      14,732
    TOTAL ASSETS                      $  490,018  $  484,991
    LIABILITIES AND SHAREOWNERS' INVESTMENT
    Current Liabilities:
        Short-term debt               $   25,000  $   56,000
        Current maturities of long-term      828         757
        Accounts payable                 172,790     165,926
        Accrued expenses                  47,665      54,479
        Current deferred income taxes      2,920       1,054
        Total Current Liabilities        249,203     278,216
    Long-term debt                        92,701      93,552
    Deferred income taxes                 13,640       9,990
    Deferred investment tax credit         2,304       3,125
    Other liabilities                      8,012       6,000
    Deferred gain on sale/leaseback       26,615      28,052
    Shareowners' investment               97,543      66,056
    TOTAL LIABILITIES AND SHAREOWNERS $  490,018  $  484,991
    See accompanying Notes To Condensed Financial Statements
              NOTES TO CONDENSED FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
                          (thousands)
    INTERIM PRESENTATION
    The accompanying unaudited condensed financial statements should be read in conjunction with the audited financial statements for the fiscal year ended Feb. 2, 1991, and the accompanying notes thereto, included in the company's 1990 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.
    INVENTORIES
    Merchandise inventories are valued at the lower of cost or market as determined primarily by the retail method of accounting and are stated on the LIFO cost basis.  The accumulated LIFO reserves at Nov. 2, 1991, and Nov. 3, 1990, were $32,980 and $27,742, respectively.
    RECAPITALIZATION TRANSACTIONS
    The company was a wholly owned subsidiary of The May Department Stores Co. until Nov. 3, 1990, at which time May completed the spin-off of the company by distributing substantially all of the outstanding shares of the company to May's shareowners.  Prior to the spin-off, the company was recapitalized by a sale/ leaseback transaction, the incurrence of mortgage debt,  borrowings under a revolving line of credit and a dividend to May of $262,500 as the sole shareowner.
    SHORT-TERM AND LONG-TERM DEBT
    All short-term debt, as of Nov. 2, 1991, and Nov, 3, 1990, was under the Credit Agreement with Citibank and a syndicate of banks. May provided all working capital borrowings through September 1990 and charged the company interest on these borrowings based on the prevailing market rates.  As of Nov. 3, 1990, all of these borrowings from May had been repaid.
    EARNINGS PER SHARE
    Average outstanding shares used to calculate earnings per share for the 13 and 39 weeks ended Nov. 3, 1990, were assumed to be equal to the average outstanding shares for earnings per share purposes from Oct. 4, 1990, (first trade date) to Feb. 2, 1991.
    -0-                     11/12/91
    /CONTACT:  Jack Burtelow of Venture Stores, 314-281-7800/
    (VEN) CO:  Venture Stores, Inc. ST:  Missouri IN:  REA SU:  ERN DB -- SF012 -- 3693 11/12/91 18:28 EST
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Date:Nov 12, 1991
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