Posts Tagged ‘fourth quarter’

ShopNBC And CEO Keith Stewart Profiled By Hometown Paper The Star Tribune, Why Wasn’t Charla Rines Quoted?

March 31, 2010

ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart, an apparent Yankee fan, as photographed by Richard Sennott of the Star Tribune

The Minneapolis Star Tribune did a goat-gagger of a profile this week on ShopNBC’s turnaround effort under former QVC executive Keith Stewart.

It’s a nice job by two staff writers, who describe Keith’s efforts to cut costs, diminish the number of returns and lower the average price of the No. 3 home shopping channel’s merchandise.

The Star Tribune notes that for the fourth quarter, as we reported, ShopNBC sales “were positive” for the first time in two years. But the company is still swimming in red ink, though it has decreased. The network posted a $42 million loss for the year.

Corporate Keith Stewart

What the Star Tribune doesn’t mention is that ShopNBC viewers are still steamed that the network let veteran host Charla Rines go in January. So far we’ve gotten about 80 comments denouncing ShopNBC for canning the mouthy host.

Not for nuthin, as we’d say in Jersey, but Stewart is pictured in the Star Tribune wearing what appears to us to be a New York Yankees cap and Yankee pinstripes. It’s a considerably more macho photo than his corporate shots, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

ShopNBC To Report Fourth Quarter Earnings March 16

March 9, 2010

ShopNBC will discuss its fiscal fourth quarter and full year 2009 results in a conference call March 16, the company said Tuesday.

The company will release its earnings the morning of the conference call, which will take place at 11 a.m.

Participating in the call will be ShopNBC CEO Keith Stewart, ShopNBC president Bob Ayd, and Bill McGrath, ShopNBC interim chief financial officer and vice president of quality assurance.

HSN CEO Mindy Grossman Pooh-Poohs Talk Of Merger With QVC, Says The Home Shopping Nets Aren’t Two Peas In A Pod

March 3, 2010

HSN CEO Mindy Grossman Wednesday downplayed the possibility that her home shopping network and rival QVC will be merged, saying they are each unique businesses without much synergy. MMMMM, not sure we buy that.

During a fourth-quarter conference call, Grossman was asked about the possible plans that Liberty Media, QVC’s parent, might have for HSN. The Liberty Media unit Liberty Interactive owns a 33 percent stake in HSN. There’s a standstill on that stake that expires in a few months, one analyst said. You tell us what a standstill is.

Anyway, Grossman didn’t duck the question, although we find it hard to argue that merging two shopping channels wouldn’t create some kind of benefits and synergy — not that we would want to see it.

Liberty has two directors on HSN’s board, according to Grossman.

“Other than that, we don’t have a relationship per se with Liberty, so we can’t tell you what they’re thinking or not thinking prior to the standstill,” she said on the conference call. “It really is up to them and our board if they were to choose to even accept such an offer. So I can’t really speak for what they may or may not do.”

Grossman poured water on the notion that HSN and QVC are so similar that there would be many benefits to combining their operations into one monster home shopping network.

“In terms of the synergies, I think that we’ve said before that we are two very distinct businesses,” Grossman said. “You’re going to have to continue to run them as very distinct platforms. And so there’s not as much synergies as I think that some people believe that there might be. So it really comes down to our performance overall, and both companies.”

HSN Posts Record Fourth Quarter, With 12 Percent Spike In Net Sales

March 3, 2010

HSN CEO Mindy Grossman

Boosted by growth in the electronics, fitness and fashion categories, HSN’s net sales increased 12 percent to a record $611.8 million in the fourth quarter, the home shopping network reported Wednesday.

For 2009, HSN’s net sales were up 3 percent, to $2 billion from $1.96 billion in the prior year.

HSNi’s net sales, which include the HSN network and Cornerstone, in the fourth quarter increased 8 percent to $838.7 million from $778.5 million in the prior year. HSN’s net sales increased 12 percent to $611.8 million, the highest quarterly sales volume in its 32-year history. Cornerstone’s net sales decreased 2 percent to $226.9 million, an improvement compared to the year-to-date decline in net sales of 19 percent through the end of the third quarter.

HSNi’s adjusted EBITDA increased 78 percent $88 million from $49.3 million in the prior year as a result of the 8 percent increase in net sales, an improvement in gross profit margin of 180 basis points and a reduction in operating expenses, excluding non-cash charges, of $3.1 million.

HSNi’s adjusted earnings per share were 74 cents compared to 36 cents in the prior year, an increase of 105 percent. GAAP diluted EPS was 68 cents per share compared to a loss of $38.29 per share last year. The prior-year results included non-cash asset impairment charges of $2.9 billion to reduce the carrying value of goodwill and intangible assets. The asset impairment charges on an after-tax basis were $2.2 billion.

“We are thrilled to report that EPS more than doubled on the strength of record-breaking sales at HSN and a significant improvement in operating performance at Cornerstone,” HSN Inc. CEO Mindy Grossman said in a press release.

“HSN generated a 12 percent increase in sales to $612 million, the highest quarterly sales volume in our 32-year history, and reported sales growth in every division,” Grossman said. “In addition, our continued focus on driving a multi-channel experience resulted in sales growth on of more than 22 percent, with e-commerce sales penetration now reaching a high of 32 percent.” net sales grew 22 percent over the prior year and now represent 32.3 percent of HSN’s total net sales, up from 29.6 percent in the prior year.

All product divisions had strong sales performance in the quarter, led by significant increases in electronics, fitness and fashion. Shipped units increased 9 percent and the average price point increased 5 percent due to product mix and less promotional activity.

For HSN and Cornerstone gross profit increased $31.9 million, or 18 percent, to $205.4 million and gross profit margin improved 180 basis points to 33.6 percent compared to 31.8 percent in the prior year. The significant improvement in gross profit was due to less promotional activity and lower procurement costs.

Gross profit margin also benefited from a reduction in inventory reserves due to lower aged inventory levels. Inventories decreased 11 percent, or $24.9 million, compared to the same period last year.

For HSN alone adjusted EBITDA increased 39 percent to $75.5 million as a result of the significant increase in gross profit, partially offset by an increase in operating expenses. The increase in operating expenses was primarily attributable to the effect of a favorable accrual adjustment of approximately $5 million recorded in the prior year for distribution cost liabilities and compensation expense related to performance driven incentives.

For HSN alone operating income was $65.2 million compared to an operating loss of $2.4 billion in the prior year. Operating loss in the prior year included non-cash impairment charges of $2.4 billion related to the write-down of goodwill and intangible assets.

“On a consolidated basis, HSNi delivered an impressive performance: a sales increase of 8 percent, an improvement in gross profit margin of 180 basis points, a reduction in operating expenses and a significant increase in EBITDA of 78 percent,” Grossman said. “These results clearly demonstrate our continued ability to leverage the unique aspects of our business model to drive long-term value for our shareholders.”

We Hate To Break It To You, Fellow Jewelry Lovers, But It Looks Like Another Year Of Boring Laptops, B. Makowksy Bags and Wii On QVC

February 25, 2010

Mike, enough with the Clarisonic, cause we don't care if it's one of Lisa's favorite things

QVC had a great fourth quarter, which is good for the home shopping network but bad for jewelry geeks like us.

The U.S. channel, a unit of John Malone’s Liberty Media, Thursday reported a 13 percent jump in revenue to $1.7 billion in the fourth quarter.

“We posted our strongest quarterly results in over 10 years, and moved our full-year results into positive territory,” QVC CEO and president Mike George told analysts during a conference call Thursday.

And George got a pat on the back from his boss, Liberty CEO Greg Maffei.

“At Liberty Interactive, QVC had a very impressive fourth quarter, which capped a greatly improved 2009 overall,” Maffei said.

Why is all this bad news for bling lovers? George said that QVC saw the revenue gains because it posted strong sales on consumer electronics, kitchen and floor care, beauty, accessories and fashion jewelry. Apparel, while soft, improved significantly over the trend for prior quarters, according to George.

“Jewelry, especially gold, did remain difficult, however,” he said, at one point noting, “We continue to pull back our time on jewelry.”

That means more Wii and Clarisonic shows, not sterling and gold (fashion jewelry doesn’t count). Break out the No-Doz.

George spent quite a bit of time crowing about Isaac Mizrahi joining the QVC family, but offered no numbers on how well the designer’s extensive line of products have sold.

“Compelling exclusive content is powering our business,” he said, calling the debut of the Mizrahi line as “one of the biggest brand launches in our history.”

QVC also premiered Godiva chocolate, NARS cosmetics, Stephen Dweck diamonds and fashions by celebrity styliest Rachel Zoe in the fourth quarter, said George, who boasted that the channel in its history had never had the level of publicity and buzz it got in the final quarter.

Veteran brands on QVC — B. Makowsky, Rachael Ray, Philosophy, Bobbi Brown and Dennis Basso in fashion — performed well in the quarter, according to George.

Some 720,000 new customers joined QVC in the fourth quarter (which we presume means they made purchases), a 22 percent increase in the number of new customers a year ago. Revenue from new customers was up 53 percent from last year.

“At any given point in time we have 10 non-customers watching QVC for every customer watching QVC,” George said. “So when we get it just right, and get the right kind of products that have high appeal to new names, as we did in Q4, you can really get explosive growth without any additional advertising or other support, just by people coming by the channel.”

He also attributed some of QVC’s fourth-quarter success to the more favorable channel position it now has on DirecTV and Dish Network, and the fact that the network’s HDTV channel is now in more than 25 million homes.

In December QVC launched an iPhone application that’s been downloaded by 115,000 customers in a little over two months, George said.

Santa Was Good to QVC: It Posts 13 Percent Revenue Gain In Fourth Quarter

February 25, 2010

QVC in the United States had a great holiday season, with revenue up 13 percent in the fourth quarter and 2 percent for last year, its parent Liberty Media reported Thursday.

“QVC’s management team did an extraordinary job and delivered impressive results,” Liberty Media president and CEO Greg Maffei said in a prepared statement.

In the fourth quarter QVC’s domestic sales increased 13 percent to $1.7 billion and 2 percent for the year to $5.0 billion. Adjusted OIBDA increased 32 percent to $371 million in the fourth quarter and 4 percent for the year to $1.1 billion. For the quarter and the year, the mix of products shifted from the jewelry and apparel product areas to home and, to a lesser extent, the accessories product areas.

“QVC’s fourth quarter results are outstanding,” QVC president and CEO Mike George said in a press release. “We grew revenue and profitability at one of the highest rates in the last decade and are showing improving trends in all markets…In the fourth quarter we debuted our Isaac Mizrahi lifestyle brand along with several other leading brands and designers, and experienced the most successful Black Friday event in QVC history.”

The average selling price for the fourth quarter increased 4 percent from $48.33 to $50.37 with the total number of units sold increasing 6 percent to 35.2 million from 33.2 million. For the year, the average selling price increased 2 percent from $47.94 to $49.01 and the total number of units sold declined 3 percent to 108.7 million from 112.5 million.

Returns as a percent of domestic sales decreased to 16 percent from 18 percent for the fourth quarter and to 18 percent from 19 percent for the year due to the sales mix moving from jewelry and apparel to home products, which typically have a lower return rate. sales as a percentage of domestic sales increased from 28 percent to 31 percent for the quarter and from 25 percent to 29 percent for the year.

The domestic adjusted OIBDA margin increased 306 basis points to 22 percent for the quarter and remained relatively consistent at 22 percent for the year. The increase for the quarter was primarily due to a higher gross margin percentage resulting from more efficient warehouse operations and freight savings as well as favorable customer service expenses and the leverage of fixed costs.

QVC’s consolidated revenue, which includes its international home shopping channels, increased 14 percent in the fourth quarter to $2.4 billion and 1 percent to $7.4 billion for the year. Adjusted OIBDA increased 27 percent to $530 million in the fourth quarter and 4 percent to $1.6 billion for the year, while operating income increased 40 percent and 7 percent, respectively.

“The fourth quarter was the first quarter since Q1 of 2008 when every country posted positive revenue growth in local currency,” George said. “We are also encouraged that our results show a balanced performance, with strong gains in top and bottom line results indicative that growth is due to both compelling, exclusive content as well as aggressive cost management.”

QVC’s international revenue increased 15 percent iin the fourth quarter to $751 million from $655 million, including the impact of favorable exchange rates in the United Kingdom, Germany and Japan. For the year, international revenue remained flat at $2.4 billion despite the unfavorable foreign currency exchange rates in the United Kingdom and Germany and including favorable exchange rates in Japan.

QVC intends to launch its television programming in Italy in the fourth quarter. Included in the international adjusted OIBDA results for the fourth quarter and the year ended Dec. 31 are $2 million and $5 million, respectively, of costs related to the expected launch of the QVC Italy service.

“QVC’s global market position will be further strengthened in 2010 with the launch of QVC Italy and the implementation of our technology makeover including our global eCommerce platform, customer relationship and call center management platform and our multi-media infrastructure,” George said.

Excluding the effect of exchange rates, international revenue increased 6 percent in the UK, 8 percent in Germany and 4 percent in Japan in the fourth quarter and increased 2 percent in the UK, 3 percent in Germany and 1 percent in Japan for the year.

International adjusted OIBDA increased 19 percent to $159 million in the fourth quarter and 4 percent to $451 million for the year. International adjusted OIBDA margins increased 70 basis points for the quarter and 80 basis points for the year due primarily to favorable gross margins.

The fourth quarter gross margin increased due primarily to favorable warehouse operations across each market and a reduction in realized inventory foreign exchange losses, particularly in the UK. The gross margin increased for the year due primarily to lower warehouse costs and a favorable obsolescence provision across each market.

Excluding the impact of exchange rates, QVC’s international adjusted OIBDA increased 10 percent in the fourth quarter and 5 percent for the year.

QVC UK’s revenue increased 6 percent and 2 percent in local currency in the fourth quarter and for the year, respectively. The UK’s average selling price in local currency increased 1 percent for the fourth quarter and 4 percent for the year and units sold increased 4 percent for the fourth quarter but declined 2 percent for the year.

QVC UK experienced a higher gross margin in the fourth quarter and the year due primarily to a favorable obsolescence provision, lower warehouse expenses and a reduction in realized inventory foreign exchange losses.

QVC Germany’s revenue grew 8 percent and 3 percent in local currency in the fourth quarter and for the year, respectively. QVC Germany’s average selling price in local currency increased 3 percent for the fourth quarter and 4 percent for the year and units sold increased 5 percent for the fourth quarter but declined 1 percent for the year.

QVC Germany experienced a lower gross margin in an effort to move less productive inventory and an unfavorable obsolescence provision, partially offset by favorable warehouse costs. For the year, Germany’s gross margin increased due to a favorable obsolescence provision and warehouse costs partially offset by a lower product margin.

QVC Japan’s revenue rose 4 percent and 1 percent in local currency in the fourth quarter and for the year, respectively. QVC Japan achieved growth of 17 percent in units sold for the quarter and 9 percent for the year with the average selling price in local currency declining 12 percent and 7 percent for the fourth quarter and year, respectively.

For the fourth quarter, Japan experienced sales growth in accessories, apparel and health and beauty categories and declines in sales of jewelry and home products. For the year, Japan experienced sales growth in the accessories, apparel and jewelry categories and declines in sales of home, health and beauty products.

HSN To Report Fourth Quarter and Fiscal 2009 Results March 3

February 3, 2010

HSN will release its fourth-quarter earnings and fiscal 2009 results March 3 before the market opens, the company said Wednesday.

CEO Mindy Grossman and Judy Schmeling, executive vice president and chief financial officer, will hold a conference call at 11 a.m. to review the results.

Those interested in participating in the conference call should dial 800-210-9006 or 719-457-2506 at least five minutes prior to the call. There will also be a simultaneous audio webcast available via the company’s website at

A replay of the conference call can be accessed until March 17 by dialing 888-203-1112 or 719-457-0820, plus the passcode 2149417 and will also be hosted on the company’s Web site for a limited time.