Originally created 06/16/04

Circuit City reports $5.9 million loss in fiscal first quarter

RICHMOND, Va. -- Circuit City Stores Inc., the nation's No. 2 consumer electronics chain after Best Buy Co. Inc., said Tuesday its loss narrowed to $5.9 million in its first quarter as sales rose nearly 7 percent.

The loss for the quarter ended May 31 amounted to 3 cents a share in contrast to a loss of $46.7 million, or 23 cents a share, in the previous year.

The net loss from continuing operations was $5.2 million, or 3 cents per share, which included after-tax costs of about $4 million related to the sale of Circuit City's private-label credit-card operation to Bank One.

The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call predicted a loss of 7 cents per share.

First-quarter sales increased to $2.07 billion from $1.93 billion in the year-ago quarter. Same-store sales increased slightly more than 6 percent.

The latest results included sales of $21.7 million generated by InterTAN Inc., a Canadian consumer electronics retailer that Circuit City acquired on May 12. InterTAN owns about 500 company-operated RadioShack stores, as well as 340 RadioShack dealers and other retail outlets.

Circuit City Chairman W. Alan McCollough said store operations improved in the first quarter, though he acknowledged that same-store increases were compared to weak sales in the year-ago quarter.

"We also remained pleased with the continued strong sales growth from our e-commerce site, circuitcity.com," McCollough said in a statement.

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