Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Better than expected

March 26, 2009

Check out the trifecta of profits that topped Wall Street views.

Expectations have been pretty low for the consumer and retail sector given the tough economy, cash-strapped consumers and the overall funk in the market keeping shoppers away.

On Thursday, a few companies managed to beat expectations.  Is it a signal that things are finally picking up?

USA-HOLIDAYSALES/Best Buy‘s quarterly profit plunged 23 percent.  Still, adjusted results topped Wall Street estimates as the retailer said it got a boost from stronger-than-expected consumer demand.

“We prepared for reduced consumer spending, and we were pleased when the quarter finished stronger than it began,” Best Buy CEO and Vice Chairman Brad Anderson said in a statement.

Over at ConAgra, price increases and cost cuts helped profitability in the consumer foods business.

And Dr Pepper Snapple is riding high with its low-cost drinks, such as Crush.  Still, higher-end beverages such as Snapple are feeling a pinch.

Also in the basket: 

Estee Lauder promotes Freda to CEO

Ecko hires investment bank Peter J. Solomon (NY Post)

Dress with $30 million price tag spurns economic crisis

(Reuters photo)

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