FDA approves Tandem insulin pump
SAN DIEGO — The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new insulin-delivery system for Type 1 diabetes made by Tandem Diabetes Care, the company said Wednesday.
Tandem announced the approval of the T:slim, a pump that the company said is the first to have a color touch screen and is the smallest insulin pump system available, in addition to being one of the first to be approved under the FDA’s new Infusion Pump Improvement initiative.
"With the clearance of T:slim, Tandem Diabetes Care has an opportunity to set a new standard in insulin pump infusion therapy," Tandem president and CEO Kim Blickenstaff said. "In creating T:slim, we spoke with more than 4,000 healthcare professionals and people with diabetes, and the clear message we heard was, ‘Make it cool and make it uncomplicated to use. Give us access to the most advanced features without the extra effort.’"
Revenue, comps rise for Delhaize America in Q3
SALISBURY, N.C. — Network growth and higher retail inflation prompted growth in both revenue and comparable-store sales for Delhaize America, the U.S. division of Delhaize Group, for the third quarter ended Sept. 30.
Revenue realized a gain of 3.5% to $4.9 billion, compared with the year-ago period, while comparable-store sales jumped 1.9%. Delhaize, however, acknowledged that due to the economic environment and the decrease of consumer confidence, particularly in the southeastern United States, volume trends were down from the previous quarter.
The company also noted that operations were disrupted by Hurricane Irene, which resulted in the closing of 350 Food Lion stores for several days. Additionally, Delhaize America also accrued $10 million in other operating expenses — mainly due to product losses and inventory write-offs — which were partially offset by impairement reversals (worth $5 million) at Sweetbay banner stores.
Despite these setbacks, the company forged ahead with its relaunch of 200 Food Lion stores in Raleigh, N.C., and Chattanooga, Tenn., pilot markets, reporting that comparable-store sales growth increasingly outpaced the rest of the network, despite the additional price investments in the stores. Delhaize America said the company "intends to have completed the roll out of this work to between 700 and 800 stores in total by the end of 2012."
Delhaize America also said that its Bottom Dollar Food stores in Philadelphia have garnered positive feedback, while its Northeast Hannaford stores also saw a good performance, which was in line with the trends seen in the previous quarter.
Commenting on the results, Delhaize Group president and CEO Pierre-Olivier Beckers said, “We are pulling the right levers is evidenced by the momentum in the rebranded Food Lion markets that continue to deliver excellent results and outperform the rest of the network. At the same time, the economic environment, especially in the southeast of the U.S., continues to weigh on customer sentiment and their spending behavior.”
As of Sept. 30, Delhaize America had 1,640 supermarkets in operation.
Profits exceed estimates at Target
MINNEAPOLIS — Profits at Target grew 10.2% to 82 cents in the third quarter, compared with 74 cents the prior year, thanks to healthy sales growth and ongoing improvement in the company’s credit card business.
It was an impressive performance, as the company had forecast earnings per share would fall in a range of 70 cents to 75 cents, and analysts’ consensus estimate was 74 cents. The underlying strength of the quarter is more impressive if one-time tax gains from the prior year and expenses related to the start-up of operations in Canada are removed from the equation. Target’s third quarter 2010 results were aided by a 6 cents per share tax benefit, while this year’s third-quarter results were negatively affected by expenses of 5 cents per share from cost related to the Canadian market entry where the retailers first stores aren’t due to open until 2013. Excluding these variables, adjusted earnings per share increased 28% to 87 cents, compared with 68 cents.
Target chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said the company was very pleased with results that reflect strong performance of its U.S. retail and credit card businesses and that it has the right strategy and team in place to drive results.
Sales at the company stores increased 5.4% to $16.1 billion, compared with $15.2 billion the prior year, and same-store sales grew at 4.3%. The top-line growth translated to operating profits for the division that increased 14.1% to $931 million compared with $816 million. The company also reported that its gross margin rate declined to 30.5% from 30.6%, but expenses declined more significantly, dropping to 21.4% from 21.8%.
The company’s credit card segment also contributed to profits. Although the volume of receivables declined 9.9% to an average of $6.2 billion, the credit quality of the individuals who owe that debt is better, which means Target’s bad debt expenses declined to $40 million in the third quarter, compared with $110 million the prior year. As a result, the credit card segment’s operating profit increased 10% to $143 million, compared with $130 million.