- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 21, 2009

CHICAGO (AP) - RadioShack Corp. reports its first-quarter results on Thursday. The following is a summary of key developments and analyst opinion related to the period.

OVERVIEW: Consumer electronics chain RadioShack Corp. reported dismal results for its fourth quarter, when sales sank because of the recession and a dramatic decrease in discretionary spending by consumers.

Thanks to poor sales of GPS navigation systems, cameras and toys, the Fort Worth, Texas-based company earned $62 million, or 50 cents per share, during the three months that ended Dec. 31. That was down from $101 million, or 77 cents per share, during the same period a year earlier. Revenue declined 7 percent to $1.26 billion, from $1.36 billion, for the quarter.

When the retailer announced those results in February, it said its poor same-store sales trends were mostly isolated to the fourth-quarter and hadn’t continued into the first part of the 2009 fiscal year.

During the first quarter, which ended on March 31, RadioShack named Kim Warmbier as its senior vice president of human resources.

After the period ended, RadioShack announced it was expanding its electronics trade-in program to most of its U.S. locations.

BY THE NUMBERS: Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters predict a profit of 22 cents per share on revenue of $937.1 million for the quarter. During the same period last year, RadioShack earned $38.8 million, or 30 cents per share, on sales of $949 million.

ANALYST TAKE: Deutsche Bank analyst Mike Baker told investors he expects the consumer electronic chain’s performance will exceed its fourth-quarter results, when the company fell short of Wall Street forecasts, causing the company’s stock to lose nearly a quarter of its value in a single day.

“1Q09 should look better than 4Q, but that’s not saying much,” Baker wrote to investors in a recent analyst note.

Baker said he expects same-store sales _ an important retail industry metric of sales in stores open at least a year _ to fall slightly.

WHAT’S AHEAD: RadioShack’s results have been boosted in recent quarters by sales of the converter boxes that consumers will need for their analog TVs after the federally mandated transition to digital television broadcasts, now set for June.

Experts predict that benefit will wear off by midyear and the chain’s cell phone sales will return to the fore. So analysts will look for an update on how that category is faring and on the company’s forecasts.

STOCK PERFORMANCE: During the quarter, which began Jan. 1, shares fell about 18 percent to end the period at $3.45.

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