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Business Update: Ups, Downs and Exchanges

On the business front, January saw strong earnings (Burberry), disappointing sales (Eddie Bauer) and a growing horde of cash (Sears Holdings), among other developments.

On the business front, January saw strong earnings (Burberry), disappointing sales (Eddie Bauer) and a growing horde of cash (Sears Holdings), among other developments.

WWD reported that revenues at Burberry for the third quarter ended Dec. 31 rose 22.6 percent to 206 million pounds, or $394.6 million, on the back of strong retail sales of outerwear and luxury accessories, as well as an updated sales and delivery schedule. This compares with sales of 168 million pounds, or $293.9 million, in the corresponding period a year ago.

Chief financial officer Stacey Cartwright said it was the best quarter Burberry has had since it was listed on the London Stock Exchange five years ago. Analysts gave the numbers a thumbs-up, with Seymour Pierce calling them “excellent.”

Meanwhile, Eddie Bauer Holdings Inc. said preliminary sales results for the fourth quarter and full-year periods showed a 1.1 gain and a decline of 4.5 percent, respectively. Management said results were below expectations. Stay tuned for full results.

Regarding the equity market, Texas Pacific Group said this month that it would be offering 7.5 million shares of the J. Crew’s common stock, and that none of the proceeds from the sale will go to J. Crew. Here’s a chance to buy one of the top performing stocks in the retail sector.

Speaking of top performers, Edward Lampert, chairman of Sears Holdings Corp. is building up a big cash cache at the retailer, as well as fatter profits, despite delivering softer sales. The company said this month that it expects to end its fiscal year ending Feb. 3 with $3.5 billion in cash and cash equivalents.

And while same-store sales for both its Kmart and Sears domestic units fell during the nine-week period ended Dec. 30, the retailer still expects fourth-quarter net income to beat year-ago results.

For a detailed look at the headlines discussed above, see the following archived articles:

Burberry 3Q Revenues Gain 22.6%

Eddie Bauer Misses Expectations

TPG to Sell 7.5 Million Shares of J. Crew

Sears Comps Slip, Profits to Rise