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Business: Lands' End warns earnings will drop in 2001

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The Associated Press

NEW YORK (January 11, 2001 6:37 p.m. EST - Lands' End, the nation's second largest catalog company, warned that earnings for fiscal 2001 will "be down significantly" from the previous year due to bad weather and higher expenses during the holiday season.

Analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial already expected Lands' End to earn $1.33 a share for the current fiscal year ending Jan. 26. That would be down from $1.52 a share for the previous year ended Jan. 28, 2000.

The company based in Dodgeville, Wis., did not say in its statement how its earnings would compare with analysts' expectations, however.

It had previously estimated its earnings for the year would be "flat to somewhat lower" than a year earlier.

Shares of Lands' End were up $1.45, or nearly 6 percent, to close at $27.10 on the New York Stock Exchange.

"Because of the strong concentrated demand in some of our most popular items, we had a significant increase of backorders to fill in the holiday period, which has put pressure on our expense structure in the short term," David F. Dyer, president and chief executive, said in a statement. He also noted that snowstorms in Wisconsin resulted in "significantly higher" expenses in overtime and other operational costs.

The company said that net income for the eight weeks ended Dec. 22 was $33.9 million, up 1.6 percent from $33.4 million earned in the holiday period in 1999.

Net sales for the eight-week period were $394 million, up 12 percent from $352 million in the year-ago period.

The company's e-commerce sales were almost 50 percent higher than that of the 1999 holiday period. Lands' End said that e-commerce sales have grown to account for about 16 percent of total net sales.

-- kevin (, January 11, 2001

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