Earnings Reports for Aug. 15

Lycos Surpasses Expectations

Internet media company Lycos has topped Wall Street expectations with its fourth quarter earnings.

After the close of regular trading, the Waltham, Massachusetts-based company reported 12 cents a share, after non-recurring items. That beat the First Call consensus by four cents.

Revenue of almost $88 million easily surpassed the $46 million in the year ago period.

Lycos says worldwide traffic to its network averaged 201 million page views in July, up 36 percent from the previous quarter. Minutes of usage per visitor climbed 36 percent for the year.

Registered users rose 17 percent to 61 million worldwide, with new users signing up at a rate of more than 100-thousand daily.


Revenues Up 85% at Analog Devices

Analog Devices Inc. said third-quarter earnings nearly tripled, beating analysts’ estimates, on strong demand for computer chips that transform sound and video into digital signals for mobile phones and digital cameras. Excluding a one-time gain, Analog Devices said it earned $164.5 million, or 43 cents a share, in the third quarter, compared with $54.6 million, or 15 cents a diluted share, in the year-ago period. Net sales rose 85 percent to $700.6 million from $379 million in the year-ago quarter. Analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial had estimated the company would report a profit of 37 cents per share.

“These guys have a very diversified portfolio sold across several industries,” said Richard Faust, an analyst at Adams, Harkness & Hill. Faust rates the company’s stock as an accumulate.

Analog’s strong third quarter runs counter to the concerns expressed by some analysts that the semiconductor industry’s current boom cycle is approaching its peak.

“We continue to benefit from accelerating demand for increased bandwidth as Internet usage continues to grow dramatically,” said Jerald Fishman, the chief executive of Analog Devices. “We are also seeing strong growth for products used in wireless infrastructure applications and wireless Internet appliances.”


Staples Beats Lowered Expectations Staples, the No. 2 U.S. office products retailer, said today its second-quarter earnings fell about 19 percent, but still beat analysts’ consensus estimates, on better-than-expected sales from retail stores and its online business.

Framingham, Mass.-based Staples said it earned $42.56 million, or 10 cents a share, during the second quarter, compared with $52.74 million, or 11 cents a share, during the same quarter of the previous year.

Wall Street analysts on average had estimated Staples would report earnings of 9 cents a share, according to First Call/Thomson Financial, which tracks earnings data.

Total sales for the second quarter increased 20 percent to $2.2 billion, up from $1.84 billion, while sales at same-store stores, those open at least one year, grew 10 percent. Same-store sales include the Staples.com retail Web site.

Revenues for these Staples’ electronic-commerce operations, which are included in the $2.2 billion total sales, came to $95.7 million for the second quarter, a 513 percent jump from the same quarter of the previous year, the company said.

Owing to stronger-than-expected online sales, Staples.com pre-tax losses of $29.8 million for the quarter were narrower than expected by the company. Staples.com operations include the Staples.com, Quill.com and StaplesLink.com Web sites, as well as the company’s Canadian e-commerce business.

The company said it has plans to further develop some key areas of the business, including its European operations, its e-commerce operations and its business services.

Staples’ European business saw sales at stores open at least one year grow 18 percent. In addition, the company opened six new stores during the quarter, bringing the total number in Europe to 149. It plans on opening about 20 European stores this year.

In the United States, Staples said it has 943 stores and has oversight for the 162 Staples stores in Canada.


J.C. Penney Profits Fall 90 Percent

Department store giant J.C. Penney said today its operating profits fell 90 percent in the second quarter and warned that results for the balance of the year would be hurt if slow sales at its department stores continued.

Penney, the No. 5 U.S. retailer, said income excluding unusual items fell to $11 million, or 1 cent per diluted share, from $112 million, or 40 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter.

Analysts had expected Penney to break even for the quarter, according to First Call/Thomson Financial.

Quarterly revenues rose to $7.43 billion from $7.31 billion a year ago.

Penney, which operates about 1,100 department stores and 2,600 Eckerd drugstores, also said the initial public offering of an Eckerd tracking stock would not occur this year as previously announced.


Target Nails Estimates

Target, the No. 4 U.S. retailer, reported today a 13 percent increase in second quarter operating income, meeting Wall Street expectations, as results were helped by sales at its upscale discount Target stores.

Target said net income before items in the second quarter ended July 29 rose to $257 million, or 28 cents a diluted share, compared with $228 million, or 24 cents a diluted share. Year-ago figures reflect a two-for-one stock split on July 19.

Analysts polled by research firm First Call/Thomson Financial had expected Minneapolis-based Target to report a profit of 28 cents a share.

“We are pleased with our financial performance in the second quarter,” Bob Ulrich, chairman and chief executive officer of Target, said in a statement. “In addition, we remain comfortable that we will deliver full-year results consistent with our stated goal of 15 percent average annual earnings per share growth.”

Total revenues in the quarter rose to $8.25 billion, compared with $7.69 billion in the year-ago quarter. Sales in its upscale discount Target Stores unit rose 9.9 percent to $6.5 billion.



The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.