Outpost.com, a global Internet retailer featuring over 200,000 consumer technology and related products (including Apple products) for the home and office, announced that net sales are up but profits down for the fourth quarter and fiscal year.
The good news: net sales for the fiscal quarter were US$120.9 million, up 58 percent compared to the $76.5 million in quarter four of 2000. The bad news: Outpost.com reported a pro forma net loss, excluding goodwill and amortization, of $9.5 million for the quarter and pro forma basic and diluted net loss per share of .30 cents. Including goodwill amortization, the quarterly net loss was $10.1 million or .32 cents per share, versus a net loss of $9.8 million and basic and diluted net loss per share of .41 cents a year ago. Gross margin for the quarter was 15 percent compared to 12.4 percent during the comparable quarter last year.
For the fiscal year that ended Feb. 28, net sales were $355.2 million, 86.6 percent better than the $190.3 million of net sales for the prior fiscal year. Pro forma net loss excluding amortization of goodwill was $29.3 million and .97 cents per share. Including goodwill amortization, the net loss for fiscal year 2001 was $30.3 million and $1.01 per share, better than the $35.6 million and $1.52 a year ago.
During the fourth quarter, Outpost added approximately 293,000 new customers bringing its total customer base to an estimated 1.3 million. The company’s repeat buying rate remained strong with 57 percent of quarterly product sales coming from repeat buyers, according to Chairman Darryl Peck.
“Given the current economic environment, we were pleased to have met our lowered estimates for the quarter” he said in a statement. “Current market conditions have made it difficult to secure the required equity and working capital financing we need. Therefore, we intend to meet with our creditors to discuss payment options.”
Peck said the company would explore all available options to get back in the black. Outpost.com also plans to take a number of cost reduction actions and explore other strategic alternatives. However, the company hasn’t said what those actions will be. And they say that market conditions and the unpredictable economic environment make it impossible to offer “meaningful estimates for fiscal 2002 at this time.”
Outpost.com carries a wide variety of products, including Macs, Wintel systems, electronics, games, DVD movies, handhelds, cellular phones, and more. The company’s statement regarding its finances didn’t elaborate on which how sales and profits stacked up in the different product categories.