Collectors Universe 1Q Revenues Down 10.2%

Collectors Universe, Inc. reported net revenues of $9.7 million and a loss from continuing operations of $1.3 million for the first fiscal quarter of 2009. This compares to net revenues of $10.8 million and a loss from continuing operations of $100,000 for the first fiscal quarter of 2008.

The company, which provides authentication and grading services to dealers and collectors of high-value collectibles, diamonds, and colored gemstones, said the 10.2 percent drop in revenues was a result of a 17 percent decrease in coin revenues.

Jewelry grading revenues for the Newport, Calif.-based company increased 14 percent quarter-over-quarter to $435,000.

The gross profit margin was 46.5 percent in the first quarter of 2009 compared to 52 percent in the same quarter of last year, the company said. The decrease was attributable to a lower gross margin earned on coin grading services due primarily to the reduction in coin show grading revenues.

Operating expenses were $5.9 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2009 compared to $6.2 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2008. That decrease was primarily attributable to a $0.3 million reduction in sales and marketing expenses by the company’s jewelry businesses.

“Our legacy coin and sports card grading businesses are in the process of adjusting capacity to meet current demand levels and we expect to see improvements in these businesses operating results over the next several quarters,” said Michael Haynes, Collectors Universe chief executive officer. “The jewelry segment continues to improve year over year, generating higher revenues while achieving reductions in its operating costs, continuing a trend of improved results in this segment that began in the previous quarter.”

Other financial highlights for the period include the following:

* More focused sales and marketing efforts resulted in a 14 percent quarter-over-quarter decrease in sales and marketing expenses, primarily in the company’s jewelry businesses.

* Corporate expenses were reduced by 7 percent, the fifth consecutive quarter  of such reductions.

* A 10 percent one-time stock dividend was declared to stockholders on Oct. 20.

* The quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share was paid in the first quarter 2009; however, future payments of dividends were suspended due to market and economic conditions.

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