Earnings Reports for Oct. 23

“We are confident in our ability to deliver our targeted double-digit revenue growth and mid-teens earnings growth beginning in 2001,” Chairman and Chief Executive Edward Whitacre said.


Radio Shack’s Profits Jump 29 Percent

Consumer electronics retailer Radio Shack reported today a 29 percent increase in third-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street forecasts, as sales of digital products such as wireless phones helped results.

Net income in the third quarter ended September 30 rose to $77.1 million, or 39 cents a diluted share, compared with $59.8 million, or 29 cents, in the same quarter a year ago.

Analysts on average had expected the Fort Worth, Texas-based retailer to report a third-quarter profit of 38 cents a share, according to First Call/Thomson Financial.

RadioShack, which has more than 7,100 stores and dealers, reported sales of $1.14 billion, up from $960.3 million in the year-ago quarter.

“All year long, consumer demand for digital products has driven RadioShack’s business, enabling us to achieve solid top line and bottom line growth in all three quarters of the year,” Leonard Roberts, chairman, president and chief executive of RadioShack, said in a statement.

RadioShack is faring better than rival Circuit City Stores, which warned on Friday of a third-quarter loss due to a significant decline in sales during the past four weeks.

Analysts said that although consumer electronics sales have slowed from last year’s pace, Circuit City’s problems are exacerbated by the fact that the chain is undergoing an ambitious three-year plan to remodel all of its stores, a process that can disrupt store traffic.


American Express Meets Expectations

Financial services company American Express said today its third-quarter profits rose 14 percent, as its customers all over the world spent more money with their charge cards.

The New York-based company, known for its signature green charge cards and travelers checks, earned $737 million, or 54 cents per diluted share, in the quarter, compared with $648 million, or 47 cents, a year ago.

Wall Street had expected American Express to earn 54 cents a share, according to a consensus of analysts’ estimates compiled by tracking service First Call/Thomson Financial.

American Express’s profits rose as it gained new customers, its cardholders rang up larger shopping bills on their charge and credit cards, and more retailers accepted the cards.

Consumers continue to spend even as the U.S. Federal Reserve put brakes on fast-paced U.S. economic growth through six interest rate increases between June last year and May this year.

The credit card industry also has become slightly less competitive lately, as big players like Chicago-based Bank One have been sidelined by internal troubles.

American Express customers charged about 6 percent more on their credit cards in the third quarter than they did in the prior-year period. Card-holders charged an average of $2,041 each in the quarter, up from $1,935 a year ago.

The number of its cards in circulation rose to 50.4 million from 44.8 million in the quarter.

The company’s revenues rose to $5.55 billion in the third quarter from $4.92 billion last year. Its total billed business rose to $74.8 billion, up from $64.1 billion a year ago.

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