Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: A basket full of profits

March 25, 2010

Check out today’s earnings-palooza.

Two retailers topped analysts’ expectations after a strong holiday-season showing, while ConAgra Foods was helped by a makeover of its consumer foods segment.

USA-HOLIDAYSALES/Best Buy’s better-than-expected profit was helped by demand for devices such as notebook computers.  The company’s 12 percent revenue jump came even as Walmart and other chains stepped up their electronics push for the holidays.  Of course, this was also the first winter that they didn’t have to compete against the brick and mortar Circuit City stores.

Meanwhile, Signet — the owner of the Kay Jewelers and Jared chains — won some market share in the United States.  Its profit came in 10 cents per share higher than analysts had anticipated.

Besides ConAgra, McCormick & Co also posted quarterly results in the food aisle.  While the latest quarter came in ahead of expectations, the spice maker’s forecast signals that the current fiscal second quarter will be a weak one.

Also in the basket:

Avon buys UK’s Liz Earle Beauty in all cash deal

Japanese department stores Takashimaya and H2O cancel merger

UK retail sales bounce in February

New York bar to set menu prices like stocks

(Reuters photo)

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