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Sharper Image Reports a Loss, Citing West Coast Port Jams

November 19, 2004|From Bloomberg News

Sharper Image Corp., the seller of Ionic Breeze air purifiers and other products, reported a third-quarter loss Thursday because of expenses associated with delays in moving cargo through West Coast ports.

The net loss was $3.34 million, or 21 cents a share, in the period ended Oct. 31, compared with net income of $985,000, or 6 cents, in the same quarter a year earlier. Sales rose 20% to $153.6 million.

Sharper Image, headquartered in San Francisco, saw inventory drop because of "slow processing of merchandise going through West Coast ports," Chief Executive Richard Thalheimer said. Cargo had backed up at Los Angeles and Long Beach, home to the nation's busiest ports.

Most of the delays affected inventory arriving from Asia, Sharper Image said. Processing inventory, which usually takes two to four days, could take as many as eight days, the retailer said, noting that it had higher airfreight costs to bypass ports.

The news was released after markets closed. Shares of Sharper Image rose as high as $19.70 in after-hours trading. The stock fell 18 cents to $19.47 in regular Nasdaq trading.

Sales at stores open at least a year fell 1%, the company said. Sales from catalogs climbed 28% and online sales rose 24%.

The company also announced that Chief Financial Officer Jeff Forgan resigned for personal reasons.

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