RadioShack loses money in 4Q, hurt by mobile

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Associated Press

Posted on February 26, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 26 at 3:32 PM

FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Struggling electronics chain RadioShack Corp. on Tuesday reported a $63 million loss in the last quarter of 2012, its fourth consecutive quarterly loss, pressured by weaker mobile sales.

Electronics retailers have been suffering from tough competition, as more consumers buy electronics from online merchants such as Amazon.com and discounters expand their own electronics offerings. In particular, RadioShack said weak demand for mobile phones and phone plans pressured results.

But there were some glimmers during the quarter that things may improve. Gross margin — the percentage of every dollar in revenue a company actually keeps — was flat for the year outside of the cell phone business. And the company's business improved in the no-contract phone and tablet segments.

KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Bradley B. Thomas there was another plus: the Fort Worth, Texas-based company will exit its poorly performing Target kiosk business by April 8, so it will be able to focus on its core business.

Thomas said the wild card is the company's mobile business, which is under "significant" pressure. But he said new CEO Joseph Magnacca, who took over earlier this month after former CEO James Gooch stepped down in September 2012, might be able to improve results.

"We are optimistic that new CEO Joe Magnacca can help improve merchandising and bring stability, if not growth, to the wireless business," Thomas wrote in a client note. He kept his "Hold" rating on the stock.

RadioShack's loss amounted to 63 cents per share for the three months ended Dec. 31. A year earlier it reported net income of $11.9 million, or 12 cents per share.

Revenue declined 7 percent to $1.3 billion from $1.39 billion.

Analysts predicted a loss of 6 cents per share on revenue of $1.36 billion.

Revenue was hurt in part because of a lack of supply of the Apple iPhone 5 when it launched at the end of September. There were availability issues for that product during the first two months of the quarter, said CFO Dorvin Lively in call with investors Tuesday.

"By the time we got to December, we were able to have reasonably good in-stock positions on this device, but at that point the demand was weaker than expected," he said.

Revenue at stores open at least a year dropped 7 percent. This metric is a key gauge of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.

For the year, RadioShack Corp. lost $139.4 million, or $1.39 per share. The company reported net income of $72.2 million, or 70 cents per share, in the prior year. Annual revenue fell 3 percent to $4.26 billion from $4.38 billion.

RadioShack has more than 4,600 company-run stores in the U.S. and Mexico, 1,500 wireless phone centers in the U.S. and more than 1,000 dealer and other outlets worldwide.

RadioShack shares rose 4 cents to $3.09 in afternoon trading. They have traded in a 52-week range of $1.90 to $2.78.

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