Finlay expects 2001 earnings to be hurt by Stern’s store closings

Finlay Enterprises, Inc., New York, an operator of fine jewelry inside department stores, says it expects to be hurt by the closing of Stern’s stores, owned by Federated Department Stores, Inc. Finlay currently operates in 23 Stern’s stores.

In a release on Friday, Finlay says its 2001 earnings per diluted share will be in the range of $2.65 to $2.70 based on a comparable department sales growth of 2.5% to 3%. The company says that lost sales, as a result of the Stern’s closing in fiscal 2001, will total approximately $22 million and a decrease in earnings per share of approximately 20 cents. Included in the earnings decreases are one-time costs related to losses on fixed asset disposal and severance totaling approximately $900,000 or 5 cents per share. The company says it remains comfortable with its previous forecast for fiscal 2000 of diluted earnings per share in the range of $2.48 to $2.56. The company’s third quarter ended October 28.

‘While we are disappointed with Federated’s announcement, we will actively pursue all appropriate growth initiatives, while continuing to focus on improving our existing business. We look forward to executing our strategy of adding new departments, expanding existing departments and establishing new relationships,’ Arthur E. Reiner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Finlay Enterprises, Inc., said in a statement.

Finlay Enterprises, Inc., through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Finlay Fine Jewelry Corp., is one of the leading retailers of fine jewelry and the largest operator of leased fine jewelry departments in department stores throughout the United States with sales of $1.0 billion in fiscal 2000. The number of locations at the end of fiscal 2000 totaled 1,053 compared with 987 at the end of fiscal 1999.