The Worst RadioShack Figure of Them All

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RadioShack Corp. (NYSE: RSH) faces nothing short of an uncertain future. Despite a new team running the show, and despite that it has ample liquidity to operate normally for now, the stark reality that up to 1,100 stores needed to be closed only highlights how bad this situation is.

The worst figure of all is not how much money RadioShack is losing ($191 million the fourth quarter alone). It is not the raw number of stores being closed. The worst number is not even how many jobs will be lost. RadioShack’s most pathetic number is just how low each store’s annual sales are.

As of January 17, 2014, RadioShack operated about 4,300 company-operated stores in the United States. Then there are another 270 company-operated stores in Mexico, as well as the 1,000 or so dealer and other outlets around the world. There is also the website where the company takes online sales orders.

During the fourth quarter, RadioShack completed a five-year financing pact of $835 million, and the company put its total liquidity at $554.3 million. Still, the electronics retailer lost money in the fourth quarter — and that is considered “the money quarter” in retail. Same-store sales were down 19%, propelled by declining traffic and soft mobility sales.

Total net sales and operating revenue were $3.43 billion in 2013, down from $3.83 billion in 2012. And the company’s comparable store sales were down 8.8% for the year. Somehow the company still claimed that its gross profit is 29.8% of sales, but we will leave that alone. After all, we have to get to that extremely pathetic per-store sales number.

Even after the coming store closures, the company said that its U.S. presence will be more than 4,000 locations. If there are a total of roughly 5,570 locations, then $3.43 billion generates a grand total of $615,798.92 per store. That figure does not even take into consideration the few dollars that RadioShack generates through its website.

Now, what if we admit that math cannot be a straight line here? What if we assume that the international stores are far lower — let’s just say zero for argument’s sake. Then let’s just pretend that the website sales are really just made online because the store sent the buyers there. If we use the 4,300 domestic company-operated stores only and assign all of that $3.43 billion, then RadioShack averages only $797,674.42 in annual sales per store!

RadioShack’s problems keep mounting. Thursday marked another big drop of 5% to $2.04 per share, and the 52-week range is $2.02 to $4.36. If the new team can turn this ship around, then they will be considered retail magicians, and they will be able to write their own ticket.

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