Shares of RadioShack (RSH) took a big hit in October after reporting disappointing third-quarter earnings and a disappointing outlook for the remainder of the year.
The electronics' retailer blamed the lackluster results on its transition in September out of T-Mobile wireless products and services and into Verizon Wireless. Mobile sales, which make up about 50% of RadioShack's total sales, rose 1.3% in the quarter, growing more slowly than expected. Sales of traditional consumer electronics also declined, tumbling 21%.
"The third quarter continued to be a challenging, continued to be a transitional period for us," said CEO Jim Gooch on a call with analysts at the time. "Our shift to a broader, more compelling wireless portfolio [is] definitely still a work in progress, I think both because of the carrier transitional issues as well as a continued difficult trend in the economy."Looking ahead, RadioShack expects a drop in fourth-quarter profit from a year earlier because of a challenging economy and pressure on consumer spending. Fitch Ratings recently downgraded the company's debt to "B+" from "BB" and said its outlook is negative. According to Fitch, RadioShack is saddled with $666 million in debt. "The recent declines in (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) are more pronounced than expected, and Fitch believes there is greater uncertainty in the business," the ratings agency said. The company is now working on increasing the visibility of its Verizon Wireless products and services, but analysts believe sales may take longer to build than originally anticipated. RadioShack recently doubled its dividend and also approved a $200 million share repurchase. Year-to-date, the stock is down 40%.
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