Merry-Go-Round

BY THE NUMBERS

May 28, 1992

Merry-Go-Round Enterprises Inc., a Joppa-based clothing-store chain, reported yesterday that its first-quarter earnings dropped 18.5 percent compared with the same quarter a year ago, as a weak economy and back-to-basics fashion trends ate into sales.

Budd Bugatch, institutional research director at Ferris, Baker Watts in Baltimore, said Merry-Go-Round's earnings-per-share of 13 cents were "better than what we were looking for," even though they were down from 17 cents last year. Mr. Bugatch said he had been projecting 10 cents a share for the quarter that ended May 2.

The company's sales increased 9 percent, to $171.4 million, compared with last year's first quarter, as the chain grew from 749 to 836 stores. However, comparable-store sales, the most widely watched gauge of a retailer's performance, declined 5 percent.

Michael D. Sullivan, the company's president and chief executive officer, said Merry-Go-Round faced a tough sales comparison because comparable-store sales rose 12 percent in last year's ,, first quarter.

Merry-Go-Round's sales have taken a beating as teen-agers and young adults shifted from "fashion-forward" apparel to lower-margin denim clothing.

Three months ended 5/02/92

..... ... .Revenue ... ... ... ... Net ... ... ... ... Share

'92 ... ..171,400,000 ... ... ..7,087,000 ... ... ..0.13

'91 ... ..157,200,000 ... ... ..8,695,000 ... ... ..0.17

% change ..+9.0 ... ... ... ... ...-18.5 ... ... ... ..-23.5

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