REX Stores ( RSC), a seller of consumer electronics and appliances, named David L. Bearden president and chief operating officer, an appointment Chairman and CEO Stuart Rose says will free him up to spend more time looking for new investments in energy. The company has invested in the synthetic fuel sector for seven years, and that interest has paid off. Net income in the three months ended July 31 jumped to $8.7 million from $3.3 million in the previous year. The earnings for the fiscal 2005 second quarter included $10.4 million of pretax income from synthetic fuel investments, including a $3.5 million payment related to a facility resuming commercial operations. Bearden has held senior management positions at electronics maker Panasonic, and from 2002 to 2004 he was president and COO of the company's national sales group. Most recently he was president of Panasonic's consumer electronics sales group. REX, based in Dayton, Ohio, has more than 200 stores in 37 states. Shares of REX were down 72 cents, or 5%, to $12.87.