August 5, 2010

Conn's, Inc. Reports Net Sales Results for the Quarter Ended July 31, 2010

BEAUMONT, Texas, Aug 05, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Conn's, Inc. (NASDAQ/NM: CONN), a specialty retailer of consumer electronics, home appliances, furniture, mattresses, computers and lawn and garden products, today announced its net sales results for the quarter ended July 31, 2010.

Net sales for the quarter ended July 31, 2010, of $178.7 million, decreased $11.6 million, or 6.1%, as compared to the quarter ended July 31, 2009. Net sales represent total product sales, repair service agreement commissions and service revenues. Same store sales (sales recorded in stores operated for the entirety of both periods) decreased 6.5% for the quarter ended July 31, 2010. The same store sales trend, which improved each month of the quarter, with positive same store sales in July, was impacted by:

  • more challenging economic conditions in the Company's markets during the quarter, as compared to the same quarter in the prior year, and
  • management's emphasis on improving retail gross margin while maintaining price competitiveness.

The Company improved its retail gross margin, which includes gross profit from both product and repair service agreement sales, to approximately 25% for the quarter ended July 31, 2010, as compared to the 23.6% experienced in the quarter ended July 31, 2009. Total revenues for the quarter, including revenues from finance charges and other, will be reported in the Company's earnings release and conference call scheduled for August 26, 2010. The following table presents the makeup and changes in net sales for the quarter:

Quarter ended July 31,
2010 % of Total 2009 % of Total Change % Change
(dollars in thousands)
Consumer electronics $ 52,884 29.6 % $ 60,414 31.7 % $ (7,530 ) -12.5 %
Home appliances 57,700 32.3 % 62,524 32.9 % (4,824 ) -7.7 %
Track 22,348 12.5 % 23,151 12.2 % (803 ) -3.5 %
Furniture and mattresses 21,236 11.9 % 18,332 9.6 % 2,904 15.8 %
Other 12,219 6.8 % 10,968 5.8 % 1,251 11.4 %
Total product sales 166,387 93.1 % 175,389 92.2 % (9,002 ) -5.1 %

Repair service agreement commissions

8,104 4.5 % 8,858 4.6 % (754 ) -8.5 %
Service revenues 4,183 2.4 % 6,052 3.2 % (1,869 ) -30.9 %
Total net sales $ 178,674 100.0 % $ 190,299 100.0 % $ (11,625 ) -6.1 %

The following is a summary of the key items impacting net sales during the quarter, as compared to the same quarter in the prior fiscal year:

  • Consumer electronics category sales declined as a result of a 20.4% drop in the average selling price of flat-panel televisions, partially offset by a 10.1% increase in unit sales driven by increased sales of plasma televisions,
  • Home appliance category sales declined during the quarter on lower unit sales, primarily in the refrigeration and room air conditioning categories, though average selling prices increased,
  • Track sales declined slightly as increased sales of accessories, MP3 players and desktop computers were offset primarily by declines in the sales of camcorders, digital cameras, GPS devices, netbooks, computer monitors and video game hardware. A 17.2% increase in unit sales of laptop computers offset a 14.8% decline in the average selling price of this product.
  • The growth in furniture and mattresses sales was driven by the addition of in-store specialists focused on this category, improved in-store displays and expanded product selection,
  • An increase in lawn and garden sales included in other product sales was largely responsible for the growth in this category,
  • The decline in repair service agreement commissions was driven largely by increased cancellations of these agreements as a result of higher credit charge-offs, partially offset by a revenue increase as a result of higher product unit sales volume,
  • Service revenues decreased as the Company increased its use of third-party servicers to provide cost-effective, timely product repairs for its customers, and
  • Sales from two stores opened since May 1, 2009, reduced by the closure of the Baytown, Texas clearance center, partially offset the decrease in Total net sales.

"I continue to be encouraged by the improving sales trends we have seen each month this year," said the Company's President and CEO, Tim Frank. "I believe we can continue to deliver improved sales and retail gross margin performance as we begin to compare against periods that were very challenging in our markets last year."

Net sales for the six months ended July 31, 2010, were $341.7 million, a decrease of $48.8 million, or 12.5%, as compared with the six months ended July 31, 2009. Same store sales decreased 13.3% for the six months ended July 31, 2010.

The Company will host a conference call and audio webcast on Thursday, August 26, 2010, at 10:00AM, CDT, to fully discuss its earnings and operating performance for the quarter. The webcast will be available live at www.conns.com and will be archived for one year. Participants can join the call by dialing 877-754-5302 or 678-894-3020.

About Conn's, Inc.

The Company is a specialty retailer currently operating 76 retail locations in Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma: with 23 stores in the Houston area, 20 in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, nine in San Antonio, five in Austin, five in Southeast Texas, one in Corpus Christi, four in South Texas, six in Louisiana and three in Oklahoma. It sells home appliances, including refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers, dishwashers and ranges, and a variety of consumer electronics, including LCD, LED, 3-D, plasma and DLP televisions, camcorders, digital cameras, computers and computer accessories, Blu-ray and DVD players, video game equipment, portable audio, MP3 players, GPS devices and home theater products. The Company also sells lawn and garden products, furniture and mattresses, and continues to introduce additional product categories for the home to help respond to its customers' product needs and to increase same store sales. Unlike many of its competitors, the Company provides flexible in-house credit options for its customers. In the last three years, the Company financed, on average, approximately 61% of its retail sales.

This press release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "may," "will," "expect," "intend," "could," "estimate," "should," "anticipate," or "believe," or the negative thereof or variations thereon or similar terminology. Although the Company believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements will prove to be correct, the Company can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. The actual future performance of the Company could differ materially from such statements. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to:

  • the Company's ability to fund operations, debt repayment and expansion from cash flow from operations, borrowings on its revolving lines of credit and proceeds from securitizations and from accessing debt or equity markets;
  • the Company's ability to amend, renew or replace its existing credit facilities;
  • the ability of the Company to obtain additional funding for the purpose of funding the receivables generated by the Company, including limitations on its ability under its securitization program to obtain financing through its commercial paper-based funding sources and its ability to maintain the current credit ratings of its securities;
  • the ability of the Company to maintain compliance with the covenants in its financing facilities or obtain amendments or waivers of the covenants to avoid violations or potential violations of the covenants;
  • delinquency and loss trends in the receivables portfolio;
  • the Company's ability to offer flexible financing programs;
  • the Company's growth strategy and plans regarding opening new stores and entering new markets;
  • the Company's intention to update, relocate or expand existing stores;
  • the Company's estimated capital expenditures and costs related to the opening of new stores or the update, relocation or expansion of existing stores;
  • the Company's ability to introduce additional product categories;
  • the ability of the financial institutions providing lending facilities to the Company to fund their commitments;
  • the effect on borrowing costs of downgrades by rating agencies or changes in laws or regulations on the Company's financing providers;
  • the cost of any amended, renewed or replacement credit facilities;
  • growth trends and projected sales in the home appliance, consumer electronics and furniture and mattresses industries and the Company's ability to capitalize on such growth;
  • the pricing actions and promotional activities of competitors;
  • relationships with the Company's key suppliers;
  • interest rates;
  • general economic conditions;
  • weather conditions in the Company's markets;
  • the outcome of litigation or government investigations;
  • changes in the Company's stock price; and
  • the actual number of shares of common stock outstanding.

Further information on these risk factors is included in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company's annual report on Form 10-K/A filed on April 12, 2010 and the Company's quarterly report on Form 10-Q/A filed on July 7, 2010. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Except as required by law, the Company is not obligated to publicly release any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect the events or circumstances after the date of this press release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

CONN-F

SOURCE: Conn's, Inc.

Conn's, Inc., Beaumont
Chief Financial Officer
Michael J. Poppe, 409-832-1696 Ext. 3294

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