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BJ’s beats expectations

BY Gail Hoffer

WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — Strong performances in key categories and higher gas profitability helped BJ’s Wholesale Club exceed its earnings guidance for the second quarter.

The company reported net income for the period ended July 30 of $45.7 million, or 84 cents per diluted share. The company’s guidance called for net income in the range of $40.5 to $42.5 million and earnings in the range of 74 cents to 78 cents per diluted share. For second quarter 2010, BJ’s reported net income of $35.8 million, or 67 cents per diluted share.

As previously reported, BJ’s net sales for second quarter 2011 increased by 11% to $2.98 billion and comparable-club sales increased by 7.8%, including a contribution from sales of gasoline of 4%. Excluding the impact of gasoline, merchandise comparable-club sales increased by 3.8%.

BJ’s president and CEO Laura Sen said, “BJ’s outperformance of 10%, versus our guidance reflected favorable merchandise margins, higher gas profitability and expense savings that exceeded plan. We are very excited about our positive sales momentum for the second quarter and first half of 2011. It is clear that our members are doing more of their weekly food shopping with us. And I believe that we have tremendous opportunities to further grow our business.”

BJ’s said that, excluding the impact of gasoline, member traffic was flat, following a 4% increase in last year’s second quarter. The average transaction amount increased by approximately 3%, following a 1% decline in last year’s second quarter.

Food continues to be a strong category for BJ’s. Sales of food increased by approximately 5% for the second year in a row, driven primarily by an 8% increase in perishable foods, the company reported. On a two-year stacked basis, comparable-club sales of perishable foods increased by approximately 16%. General merchandise sales increased by approximately 1% for the second quarter, following a slight decrease in last year’s second quarter.

BJ’s reported that its strongest comps performances came from beauty care, computer equipment, coffee, cookies, dairy, deli, lawn and garden, meat, prepared foods, produce, salty snacks and summer seasonal. Departments with weaker sales versus last year included books, televisions, toys and video games.

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FDA approves drug, diagnostic test for melanoma

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug and companion diagnostic test for the most dangerous type of skin cancer, the agency said Wednesday.

The FDA announced the approval of Genentech’s and Daiichi Sankyo’s Zelboraf (vemurafenib), for patients with late-stage melanoma that can’t be removed by surgery. Genentech is the U.S. division of Swiss drug maker Roche.

The drug is approved for patients whose melanoma includes a gene mutation called BRAF V600E, and the drug has not been tested in patients whose tumors don’t express the gene. As such, the drug is being approved alongside a test called the cobas 4800 BRAF V600 mutation test, a diagnostic test designed to determine whether a patient’s melanoma cells have the mutation.

"This has been an important year for patients with late-stage melanoma," FDA Office of Oncology Drug Products director Richard Pazdur said. "Zelboraf is the second new cancer drug approved that demonstrates an improvement in overall survival."

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A.EDWARDS says:
Aug-18-2011 09:39 am

vitamin D and melanoma - The rapid increase in melanoma incidence and mortality has given rise to nationwide and international campaigns that encourage the public to protect themselves from solar radiation with clothing, sunscreens, and other measures. www.1wallmart.com/category.php?id_category=21 the basis of these campaigns has been challenged by proponents of the theory that vitamin D, which is generated in the skin by ultraviolet B radiation, inhibits tile development of melanoma. The present investigation tests this theory by examining the relation between dietary vitamin D and melanoma risk in a case-control study. Vitamin D intake was assessed by a food-frequency questionnaire in 165 melanoma patients and 209 controls, After controlling for age, hair Color, and family history of melanoma, there was no association of melanoma risk with total vitamin D intake, caloric-adjusted vitamin D intake, vitamin D intake from foods, or consumption of milk or vitamin D supplements. www.cleansemart.com We find no evidence to suggest that vitamin D protects against melanoma, and therefore continue to support the ongoing public health campaigns aimed at reducing sun exposure for the prevention of melanoma.

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L’Oréal Paris announces new professional brand ambassador

BY Antoinette Alexander

NEW YORK — L’Oréal Paris has expanded its roster of experts with the addition of New York dermatologist Gervaise Gerstner as the brand’s new professional ambassador.

As L’Oréal Paris’ consulting dermatologist, Gerstner will lend her professional insights to product development, while affording an expert voice to the consumer seeking skin care advice.

"It’s with great enthusiasm that we enter into a partnership with Gervaise," L’Oréal Paris Karen Fondu said.  "Professionally, she is an incredible physician who is admired and respected by her peers, and personally she is a lovely and compassionate doctor and mother. Gervaise is an exceptional addition to the L’Oréal Paris family and truly embodies the spirit of our brand philosophy, ‘Because You’re Worth it.’"

"Skin care is so personal because everyone’s needs are different, from teenagers battling breakouts and acne scars, to wrinkle prone mature skin, and all types and tones in between," Gerstner said.  "I’m looking forward to working with L’Oréal Paris to continue to develop products to meet patients’ concerns and help spread the news about the importance of a daily skincare regimen with SPF protection to prevent damage and premature aging."

Gerstner joins the L’Oréal Paris USA family of experts that includes consulting makeup artist Collier Strong and consulting hairstylist Johnny Lavoy.

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