Merry-Go-Round earnings drop

May 28, 1992

Merry-Go-Round Enterprises Inc., a Joppa 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.

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.

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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