West Marine increases its earnings guidance

WATSONVILLE, Calif. – Sales for March have been brisk, and West Marine Inc. believes its comparable store sales for the first quarter of 2004 could increase by nearly 15 percent, according to a statement yesterday from West Marine CEO John Edmonson.

"March sales have been very strong and we estimate a comparable store sales increase for the month ranging from 9 percent to 14 percent, and for the first quarter ranging from 11 percent to 14 percent,” Edmonson said. “Since this increase would be substantially higher than our original forecast of 4 percent to 5 percent, we are raising our estimates of first quarter net sales to range from $131 million to $133 million, and first quarter loss to range from ($0.16) to ($0.14) per share, versus last year's first quarter loss of ($0.32) per share.

“This compares to our original guidance of first quarter net sales ranging from $126 million to $128 million and loss per share ranging from ($0.19) to ($0.17) per share."

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