Consumers Don’t Itch for Fitch; Wall Street Un-impressed that Costco Hits its Numbers; Why is UAE’s National Carrier Angry at the U.S.?

What are your qualifications?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/

Nothing like a fickle teenage population to cause your company to lose 14% in sales. The fact is, consumers just aren’t digging A&F’s offerings lately. Combine that with a strong dollar and you get earnings that you’d rather not announce. But they were announced, in all their unattractive glory, and sadly, for A&F anyway, the apparel company took in a $63.2 million loss with 91 cents per share lost – a far cry from the $23.7 million and 32 cents it lost a year earlier. Sales, by the way, came in at $709.4 million, a major ugly drop from the $827.4 million the company raked in last year. These dismal numbers are also the result of the strong U.S. dollar that continues to wreak its fiscal havoc on both Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister. So the company has decided to lower prices on its merchandise  – in Europe, that is. But the powers that be admitted the retailer will continue to take a sales hit despite these efforts.  Interestingly enough Hollister, has been showing slight signs of recovery so shares did surge today on that bit of information. If you think you possess the skills that could have prevented this messy quarter, then perhaps you should polish your resume and submit it to A&F. The company has been sans CEO for six months and is on the prowl for a new one.

A year’s supply of toilet paper…

Image courtesy of photoraidz/

Image courtesy of photoraidz/

Costco topped analysts’ estimates and if this comes as a surprise to you then, clearly, you have never experienced the magic that is Costco. Sales for the warehouse retailer came in at $25.5 billion, with revenue taken in from membership fees up 4% to $584 million. Sales are up 6%, leaving competitors like Wal-Mart and Target in the dust. The company pulled down $516 million in profit on a total of $26.1 billion in revenue, adding $1.17 per share, a 9% increase over last year and just a teeny tiny penny more than what analysts expected. However, shares of Costco, for some inexplicable reason, fell more than 1.5% today. Well, actually there is an explicable reason, sort of, as traders were underwhelmed with the wholesaler’s performance and hoped Costco would do more than just top expectations. You can’t please ’em all, I guess. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to drown myself in a one ton container of Kirkland brand jellybeans…

And it’s all your fault…

Image courtesy of Ppiboon/

Image courtesy of Ppiboon/

The United Arab Emirates’ fast-growing national carrier, Etihad Airways, took down some impressive numbers with revenues of $7.6 billion and profits coming in at $73 million. Those earnings are a 52% increase over last year, yet, the airline is all up in a snit. It seems the suited folks running the show at Etihad are ticked off (feel free to insert a more colorful word) because “aggressive protectionist sentiment” from the West, i.e. the United States, is going to wreak fiscal havoc on the airline in the future. Apparently, as I have never been on board one of Etihad’s aircraft, its fleet is pretty tricked out, with competitive prices and a major edge on attracting passengers in the Persian/Arabian gulf. US carriers say this advantage comes from major government subsidies and that Etihad is simply messing with an otherwise level airline playing field. However, an independent study found that US carriers also get by with a little from Uncle Sam. So is this a case of the proverbial pot calling the proverbial kettle black? Hmmm.

One response to “Consumers Don’t Itch for Fitch; Wall Street Un-impressed that Costco Hits its Numbers; Why is UAE’s National Carrier Angry at the U.S.?

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