AP News

Trans World Entertainment 4Q profit up on gain

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Trans World Entertainment Corp. reported Thursday that its fourth-quarter profit jumped sharply on a one-time gain. Its adjusted results also showed a marked improvement in profitability and the retailer's shares soared in trading Thursday.

The company, which runs the f.y.e. and Suncoast chains, earned $35 million, or $1.09 per share, for the quarter that ended Feb. 2. That is compared to net income of $16.5 million, or 51 cents per share, in the same quarter of the prior year. These results included a one-time gain of $22.8 million from the sale of real property in Miami. Excluding the gain, the company earned 38 cents per share in the most recent quarter.

It did benefit from lower expenses during the quarter. Its selling, general and administrative expenses decreased 9 percent for the fourth quarter.

Trans World's total revenue fell 15 percent to $163.4 million from $193.1 million.

The company's revenue from stores open at least a year fell 3 percent. This is considered a key indicator of a retailer's financial performance as it strips away the impact of recently opened or closed stores. During the fourth quarter, the company operated an average of 373 stores compared to 427 stores last year. Its stores sell entertainment products including video, music and electronics.

Trans World Chairman and CEO Bob Higgins said that the company's strong financial position allowed it to pay a special $15 million cash dividend during the fourth quarter, its first in the company's history. Higgins said Trans World will continue to monitor the company's financial needs and resources and will consider all options to enhance shareholder value.

Shares increased 22 cents, or more than 6 percent, to $3.75 in morning trading. Its shares have traded between $2.11 and $4.07 in the past 52 weeks.

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