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Tuesday Morning takes a hit in 2Q

Susan Andrews, Retail Editor 1 -- Home Textiles Today, January 24, 2012

Dallas - Tuesday Morning Corp. turned its focus on strengthening its inventory position amidst otherwise dreary second quarter results, when the closeout chain suffered declines in sales and profits.

Net income fell 8.1% to $15.9 million, or 37 cents per share, versus $17.3 million, or 40 cents per share, for the same period last fiscal year.

Sales dipped 2.2% dip to $273.1 million. Comps declined 4.6% due to a 3.5% decrease in traffic and a 1.1% decrease in average ticket.

The silver lining, the company noted quarterly conference call yesterday afternoon, was its inventory position, which as of December 31st was at $239.2 million, or 13.7% lower than the year-ago's $277.3 million, and down 15.4% on a per-store basis compared to last year.

"We continue to expect to end fiscal 2012 with inventory levels approximately $5 [million] to $10 million below fiscal '11 yearend levels," added Stephanie Bowman, cfo.
Discretionary categories of merchandise were week performers, according to Kathleen Mason, president and ceo. "There was ample availability of merchandise. But given the environment, we were cautious in our evaluation."

She added that Tuesday Morning ended the quarter "with a clean inventory position, reflecting the successful sell-through of the textile buy initiated some quarters ago. December ended with $90 million less retail inventory that had better productivity in margin and turn."

For the six-month period, sales declined 1.9% to $443.7 million, and comps dropped 4.4% - the result of a 4.2% slide in traffic and a 0.2% dip in average ticket.

Year-to-date earnings per share were 24 cents versus 34 cents in last year's first half.

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