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BRIEFLY / RETAILING

Toys R Us Says Third-Quarter Profit Down

November 14, 2000|Bloomberg News

Toys R Us Inc. reported a 25% decline in third-quarter operating profit to $15 million, or 7 cents a share, but said it will meet or exceed profit estimates for its fiscal fourth quarter. The toy retailer said that, including charges related to setting up a co-branded Web site with Amazon.com and to closing distribution centers, it had a loss of $118 million, or 33 cents a share, in line with analyst expectations. Sales fell 10% to $2.22 billion. The company didn't have a toy to drive demand as it did last year, when Pokemon, Star Wars items and Furby dolls boosted sales 13%--the biggest in a decade. Chief Executive John Eyler said the company, which ran out of some toys during last year's holiday season, will have more of its 1,500 top-selling items in stock this year and will meet or exceed profit estimates. He didn't give a specific target. Analysts are expecting earnings of $1.22 in the fourth quarter and 92 cents for this year, according to First Call/Thomson Financial. Shares of Paramus, N.J.-based Toys R Us rose $1.81 to close at $18.25 on the NYSE.

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