Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: A glimmer from Zale’s

May 26, 2010

Check out who is paying full price for bling.  ZALE/

More people at Zale Corp, that’s who.

The jeweler still posted a loss in the first quarter, but it was less of a loss than a year earlier.

Merchandise margins also rose, the result of less promotional
price cutting.

Zale has also cut expenses, closed stores and trimmed inventories. And it got some relief from its liquidity problems earlier this month, when private equity firm Golden Gate Capital lent it $150 million for five years and took a 19.9 percent stake.

Are Zale’s shares, priced at under $3, starting to dazzle? Well, any stock move today could be exaggerated by traders covering short positions.

As of April 30, about 14 percent of Zale shares were held short by investors betting the price would fall. That is far above the 3.5 percent average for New York Stock Exchange-listed stocks.

Also in the basket:

Foster’s cheers with beer and wine split

Newell backs full-year profit, sales outlook

American Eagle sees weak Q2, shares down

Pabst’s new owner built fortune in old brands (WSJ)

(Reuters photo)

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