Computer hardware and software retailer CompUSA Inc said Wednesday that sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2000, ended September 25, fell 2.0% to $1.36bn from $1.39bn in the year-ago quarter. Comparable store sales were essentially flat, decreasing 0.3% for the 195 stores open one year or more. The Dallas-based company has changed its comparable […]
Computer hardware and software retailer CompUSA Inc said Wednesday that sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2000, ended September 25, fell 2.0% to $1.36bn from $1.39bn in the year-ago quarter. Comparable store sales were essentially flat, decreasing 0.3% for the 195 stores open one year or more.
The Dallas-based company has changed its comparable store sales calculation to include only retail sales of products and services through its stores, while direct sales – which include sales to corporate, government and education customers – are no longer included in the comparable store sales figures. The change comes in line with the company’s recently-announced strategy moves which include the centralization of the direct sales organization and the outsourcing of the direct sales distribution and configuration operations.
Direct sales for the quarter fell 19% year-over-year to $410m. Technical services sales and training sales, meanwhile, decreased 8% to $30m and 14% to $23m, respectively, from the year-ago quarter. The company said that, although the new strategy is in the early stages implementation, it has begun to see some positive results, including a significant increase in retail product margins. It added that the first quarter presents a difficult sales comparison due to the year-ago quarter’s introductions of Microsoft Corp’s Windows 98 and the iMac from Apple Computer Inc.
Unit sales of desktop computers rose roughly 39% year-over-year for the retail business and dropped 16% in the direct business. Combined average selling prices for desktops decreased 18% from last year and rose 3% sequentially. Notebook sales, meanwhile, rose 45% for retail and dropped 25% for direct, while combined average selling rose 4% year-over-year and 9% sequentially.
Overall, CompUSA said it expects to see an improvement in its results when compared to the fourth quarter. It also expects first-quarter gross margins to exceed 14.5%, which would be the highest level the company has seen in the past six quarters. Full operating results for the quarter are due on November 4. In the fourth quarter, the company posted a loss of $64.5m, or $0.70 per share, including charges, on revenue of $1.46bn. Excluding charges, the loss was $14.9m, or $0.16. In the year-ago quarter, net income was $8.1m, or $0.09 per share, on sales of $1.39bn. Analysts surveyed by First Call are currently expecting a first- quarter loss of $0.06.