Factory Card on the Block

Its third-quarter loss narrows.
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Factory Card & Party Outlet (FCPO) put itself on the block.

The Naperville, Ill., balloon seller said its board "initiated an external process to explore strategic alternatives to enhance stockholder value. Such strategies may include, but are not limited to, acquisitions, the potential sale of the company, strategic joint ventures, mergers and/or stock repurchases. The board of directors intends to engage an investment banking firm to assist management and the board in exploring strategic alternatives."

The news came as Factory Card said its third-quarter loss narrowed to a penny a share from 17 cents a share a year ago. Sales rose 1.5% from a year ago to $57 million.

"Despite lower than expected Halloween sales, we were able to better manage expenses and improve merchandise margins on a year-over-year basis leading to substantially improved performance in the recent quarter," said CEO Gary W. Rada.