Hastings Entertainment reports net income of $12.4 million, or $1.07 per diluted share, on revenues of $163.2 million for its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended Jan. 31.

Hastings Entertainment reports net income of $12.4 million, or $1.07 per diluted share, on revenues of $163.2 million for its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended Jan. 31.

Profits were up 29.2% from the $9.6 million, or 82 cents per diluted share, the company turned in for the corresponding period in fiscal 2002. Sales were up 4.1% from the $156.9 million the company generated in that year.

In a statement, chairman/CEO John Marmaduke says, "We made great progress in reducing costs and enhancing our management while improving inventory controls and functionality, which contributed to a substantial improvement in profitability and reduction in our debt for the year."

The fourth-quarter profits result include a one-time income tax benefit of $1.7 million, or 15 cents per diluted share.

The 4.1% increase in sales was attibuted primarily to a 4.7% comparable-store increase, which was offset by a 0.6% decline in video-rental sales.

For the full year, Hastings posted net income of $7.8 million, or 68 cents per diluted share, on revenues of $508.3 million, vs. the $1.9 million income on sales of $495.4 million the company turned in for fiscal 2002.

During fiscal 2003, Hastings generated comparable-store sales of 1.9%. By product category, movies and video games showed strong growth, but books barely managed to eke out a 0.7% same-store gain and music was down 7.5%.

Hastings stock was up slightly in afternoon trading at $5.58.

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