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RadioShack Hears Second-Quarter Static

The company tells investors to lower expectations after sales and earnings rise in the first quarter.

Sales and earnings per share edged upwards at

RadioShack

(RSH)

in the firstquarter, but the company warned investors to lower their second-quarterexpectations.

The electronics chain earned $56.6 million, or 33 cents a share, in thefirst quarter. RadioShack's overall earnings fell from $57.6 million in theyear-ago period, but earnings per share climbed from 31 cents a share lastyear, as the company's outstanding stock declined by 11.8 million shares to171.8 million. According to its 10-K, the company spent $329.9 million buying back its stock in 2002.

In recent trading, RadioShack shares were down 26 cents, or 1.1%, to $23.30.

RadioShack's revenue grew from $1.03 billion in the year-ago quarterto $1.07 billion in the just-completed quarter.

Wall Street analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call wereexpecting Radio Shack to earn 32 cents a share in the first quarter. Despitebeating those expectations, the Fort Worth, Texas-based company said itssecond-quarter earnings will come in lower than analysts' projections.

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RadioShack expects to earn between 27 cents and 30 cents a share in thesecond quarter. Analysts had been expecting the company to post 31 cents ashare in earnings in the current quarter, according to Thomson Financial/First Call.

Although Radio Shack is a major distributor of

Sprint PCS

(PCS)

products, theretailer wasn't particularly affected by the wireless company's most recent

problems , as its sales of wireless phones and plans grew 14% in thequarter.

But the story on wireless wasn't all good. Radio Shack saw its grossmargin decline by about 97 basis points in the quarter to 49.28% of sales.About half of the gross margin decline was due to decreased margins on itswireless sales, company officials said. However, they blamed that on thecompany's deal with Verizon Wireless and said margins should improve incoming quarters.

The company upheld its guidance of 13% EPS growth for the full year.