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Toys R Us Posts Record 4th-Quarter Sales

March 13, 1997|Times Staff and Wire Reports

A strategy to tackle increased competition from discount retailers led Toys R Us to record fourth-quarter sales of $4.7 billion, boosting earnings to $383 million for the period. The world's largest toy retailer said its earnings amounted to $1.37 per share in the last quarter, compared with earnings of $93 million, or 34 cents per share, during the same period a year ago. The last quarter of 1995 was affected by a $269-million after-tax charge related to restructuring that included closing a number of stores, consolidating some operations and improving its inventory. The record sales for the quarter reflected a 1% increase over the previous year's $4.6 billion. For the year, sales were a record $9.9 billion, a 5% increase over 1995's $9.4 billion. The earnings were below Wall Street analysts' estimates and Toys R Us stock slipped 12.5 cents to close at $28.375 on the NYSE. The company has faced increased competition from discount retailers such as Wal-Mart and Kmart.

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