Sharper Image Reports 35% Rise in 4th-Quarter Profit

Sharper Image Corp., which sells personal and home electronics, Thursday reported a 35% rise in quarterly profit, boosted by strong Internet sales and soaring demand for its gadgets.

The San Francisco-based chain of 149 stores also reported positive sales trends in February and March in the current quarter.

For its fiscal fourth quarter ended Jan. 31, the company, whose products include massage chairs and air purifiers, earned $22.8 million, or $1.40 a share, matching analysts’ average estimate, according to Reuters Research. In the year-earlier quarter, Sharper Image posted earnings of $16.9 million, or $1.26.

Sales at stores open at least a year, a key measure in retail performance, rose 17%.

Total quarterly sales increased 29% from last year to $278.4 million. Internet sales rose 34%, while catalog sales climbed 14%.

For the fiscal year, the company said revenue increased 26% to $647.5 million from last year’s $513.8 million. Store sales increased 29% to $379.3 million from $293.8 million.

Net income for the fiscal year was $25.3 million, or $1.65 a share, up 59% from $15.9 million, or $1.21, the previous year.

“We had a great fourth quarter and year,” said Richard Thalheimer, Sharper Image’s founder, chairman and chief executive. “We reached our goal to open 25 new stores in the 2003 fiscal year, with about half in outdoor lifestyle centers.”

For 2004, Sharper Image said it expected to add about 22 to 30 new stores.

Shares of Sharper Image dropped $1.03 on Thursday to $33.20 on Nasdaq.

Sharper Image Reports 35% Rise in 4th-Quarter Profit

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