RadioShack Loses More, Outlines Cuts, Heads Toward Bankruptcy

December 11, 2014 by Paul Ausick

RadioShack Corp. (NYSE: RSH) reported third-quarter 2015 results before markets opened Thursday. The electronics retailer posted an adjusted net earnings per share (EPS) loss of $1.23 on $650.2 million in revenue. In the same period a year ago, the company reported an EPS loss of $0.90 on revenues of $775.4 million. Third-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for an EPS loss of $1.04 and $717.03 million in revenues.

The third quarter was a train wreck for RadioShack. Gross profit fell about 11% and sales were down 16%, with a comparable store sales decline of 13.4%. The company’s CEO said that these numbers “primarily reflected challenges in the postpaid mobility business.” If RadioShack cannot sell smartphones and tablets, the store is sunk.

CEO Joseph Magnacca played up some small successes:

[I]n our retail segment, the other half of our business, comparable store sales at U.S. company-operated stores were only down 2.0 percent compared to last year, and improved throughout the quarter as we focused on higher margin products, including private brand, and innovative new programs like Fix It Here. Moreover, our core network of “Interactive Remodel” stores collectively performed 12 percentage points better than the total chain on a comparable basis, and in the retail segment performed almost 15 percentage points better on a comparable basis. … [O]ver the three-day Thanksgiving holiday, comparable store sales in our U.S. corporate stores were up 35 percent for our retail segment, while mobility was down 27 percent. It is notable that our core retail efforts are working, even as our mobility category is still experiencing challenges.

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If Magnacca and RadioShack had enough time and enough money, the company might, just might, be able to pull off the turnaround it has planned. The only thing that will really help is to slash costs, which means closing stores and the company’s lenders have already nixed that idea.

Instead, the store said it cut $400 million out of its annual costs. According to a slide at the company’s website, $105 million will be cut from the company’s marketing budget, $100 million in annual savings will be wrung out of operations and regional management, and $90 million will result from store closures (with the approval of the company’s lenders). The rest of the savings will come from corporate savings, professional fees and lower store overhead.

That is a fine plan, but it’s too little and too late. In the first three fiscal quarters of 2014, RadioShack has posted losses from continuing operations totaling $397 million. Saving $400 million doesn’t get the company through even a full year.

Investors were not happy Thursday morning, pushing the stock down nearly 4% in premarket trading to $0.53, below the 52-week range of $0.54 to $2.92. The low was set Wednesday and doesn’t look like it will last another day. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of $0.58 before the report.

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