updated 4/14/2011 7:16:19 PM ET 2011-04-14T23:16:19

ABILENE, Kan., April 14, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Duckwall-ALCO Stores, Inc. (Nasdaq:DUCK), which specializes in providing a superior selection of essential products for everyday life in small-town America, today announced operating results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended January 30, 2011.

Net sales from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2011 increased 4.4% to $136.9 million and same-store sales, excluding fuel center sales, increased 1.8%, compared to the same period in the prior fiscal year. Net sales from continuing operations for the fiscal year decreased 0.6% to $465.2 million and same-store sales decreased 2.4%, compared to the same period in the prior fiscal year.

Net earnings for the fourth quarter were $0.7 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, compared to $1.4 million, or $0.35 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. Earnings from continuing operations for the fourth quarter were $1.8 million, or $0.48 per diluted share compared to $1.8 million, or $0.46 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010. During the fourth quarter, the Company recorded a charge for discontinued operations of approximately $1.1 million, net of tax benefit, or $0.29 per diluted share, primarily related to the closing of the Duckwall stores.

The fiscal year net loss was $4.6 million, or $1.20 per diluted share, compared to net earnings of $2.8 million, or $0.72 per diluted share, for the prior fiscal year. The fiscal year net loss from continuing operations was $3.6 million, or $0.93 per diluted share, compared to earnings from continuing operations of $2.2 million, or $0.56 per diluted share, for the prior fiscal year. 

Richard Wilson, President and CEO, commented, "As evidenced by the year-over-year earnings improvement from continuing operations in the fourth quarter, we believe this quarter was one of those stepping-off points where we have the sense of accomplishing many things, are starting to see the results of our efforts, and are well positioned for the future. While we recognize there is still much work to do, we look forward to building upon these accomplishments in order to deliver the sales and profitability results our shareholders deserve. We are particularly encouraged by the continued growth of our same store sales into the first two months of the 2012 fiscal year."

Mr. Wilson continued, "The charge in the fourth quarter related to a strategic action to improve results going forward. As previously announced, the Company concluded that the small, limited-selection Duckwall stores no longer met the needs of most shoppers and we made the difficult decision to close these stores. Our store operations teams accomplished much under the challenging circumstances of closing these stores and I thank them for all of their efforts and hard work."

Investor Conference Call

The Company will host an investor conference call at 10:00 a.m. Central Time on April 15, 2011,to discuss operating results for the fourth quarter ended January 30, 2011. The dial-in number for the conference call is 888-271-8608 (international/local participants dial 913-312-1482), and the Confirmation Code is 4384694. Parties interested in participating in the conference call should dial in approximately five minutes prior to 10:00 a.m. Central Time. A replay of the call will be available after 1:30 p.m. Central Time April 15, 2011 through April 20, 2011 by dialing 888-203-1112 or for international/local callers by dialing 719-457-0820. The Replay Passcode is 4384694. A replay of the call will also be available four hours after completion of the call by visiting the Investors page on the Company's website, www.ALCOstores.com.

Supplemental Data

The Company has included certain tables in this press release that are set forth fully in the Company's 10-K.

Certain Non-GAAP Financial Measures

The Company has included Adjusted Gross Margin and Adjusted EBITDA, non-GAAP performance measures, as part of its disclosure as a means to enhance its communications with stockholders. Certain stockholders have specifically requested this information to assist them in comparing the Company to other retailers that disclose similar non-GAAP performance measures. Further, management utilizes these measures in internal evaluation, review of performance and in comparing the Company's financial measures to those of its peers. Adjusted EBITDA differs from the most comparable GAAP financial measure (earnings [loss] from continuing operations) in that it does not include certain items, as does Adjusted Gross Margin. These items are excluded by management to better evaluate normalized operational cash flow and expenses excluding unusual, inconsistent and non-cash charges.  To compensate for the limitations of evaluating the Company's performance using Adjusted Gross Margin and Adjusted EBITDA, management also utilizes GAAP performance measures such as gross margin return on investment, return on equity and cash flow from operating activities.  As a result, Adjusted Gross Margin and Adjusted EBITDA may not reflect important aspects of the results of the Company's operations.

About Duckwall-ALCO Stores, Inc.

Duckwall-ALCO Stores, Inc. is a regional broad line retailer that specializes in meeting the needs of smaller, underserved communities across 23 states, primarily in the central United States. The Company offers an exceptional selection of quality products and recognized brand names at reasonable prices. Its specialty is delivering those products with the friendly, personal service its customers have come to expect. With 214 ALCO stores, the Company is proud to have continually provided excellent products at good value prices to its customers for 110 years. To learn more about the Company visit www.ALCOstores.com .

Forward-looking statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements, as referenced in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 ("the Act"). Forward-looking statements can be identified by the inclusion of "will," "believe," "intend," "expect," "plan," "project" and similar future-looking terms. You should not rely unduly on these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements reflect management's current views and projections regarding economic conditions, retail industry environments, and Company performance. Forward-looking statements inherently involve risks and uncertainties, and, accordingly, actual results may vary materially. Factors which could significantly change results include but are not limited to: sales performance, expense levels, competitive activity, interest rates, changes in the Company's financial condition, and factors affecting the retail category in general. Additional information regarding these and other factors may be included in the Company's 10-Q filings and other public documents, copies of which are available from the Company on request and are available from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

Duckwall-ALCO Stores, Inc.
Statements of Operations
(dollars in thousands, except share and per share amounts)
  For the Thirteen Week Periods Ended For the Fifty-Two Week Periods Ended
  January 30, 2011 January 31, 2010 January 30, 2011 January 31, 2010
Net sales  $ 136,919  131,117  465,199  468,021
Cost of sales 96,815 91,137 322,226 316,914
Gross margin 40,104 39,980 142,973 151,107
Selling, general and administrative 33,311 34,492 135,497 135,102
Depreciation and amortization 2,470 3,003 10,014 9,949
 Total operating expenses 35,781 37,495 145,511 145,051
Operating income (loss) from

 continuing operations
4,323 2,485 (2,538) 6,056
Interest expense, net 1,092 560 3,502 2,149
Earnings (loss) from continuing 

 operations before income taxes
3,231 1,925 (6,040) 3,907
Income tax expense (benefit) 1,391 144 (2,446) 1,735
Earnings (loss) from continuing operations 1,840 1,782 (3,594) 2,172
 Earnings (loss) from discontinued

 operations, net of income tax benefit
(1,108) (412) (1,041) 614
Net earnings (loss)  $ 732  1,370  (4,635)  2,786
Earnings (loss) per diluted share        
 Continuing operations  $ 0.48  0.46  (0.93)  0.56
 Net earnings (loss) per share  $ 0.19  0.35  (1.20)  0.72
Weighted-average shares outstanding:        
Basic  3,841,895  3,797,947  3,832,339  3,797,947
Diluted  3,844,630  3,887,940  3,850,874  3,879,656
  For the Thirteen Week Periods Ended For the Fifty-Two Week Periods Ended
  January 30, 2011 January 31, 2010 January 30, 2011 January 31, 2010
Same-store gross margin dollar change 1.2% (3.8)% (5.4)% (0.4)%
Same-store SG&A dollar change 1.8% (1.8)% (0.0)% (3.5)%
Same-store total customer count change (1.5)% (0.6)% (2.7)% (0.1)%
Same-store average sale per ticket change 3.3% (2.1)% 0.3% (0.6)%
     For the Thirty-Nine   Trailing Twelve  For the Thirteen  
  52 Weeks Week Periods Ended Period Ended Week Periods Ended 52 Weeks
    October 31, November 1, October 31, January 30, January 31,  
  Fiscal 2010 2010 2009 2010 2011 2010 Fiscal 2011
Net earnings (loss)

from continuing

operations (1)
 $ 2,173  (5,434)  391  (3,652)  1,840  1,782  (3,594)
Interest  2,149  2,410  1,590  2,969  1,092  559  3,502
Taxes (1)  1,735  (3,837)  1,591  (3,693)  1,391  144  (2,446)
Depreciation and

amortization (1)
 9,949  7,544  6,946  10,547  2,470  3,003  10,014

 757  268  601  423  48  155  316
Preopening store

costs (2)
 128  492  2  618  51  126  543
Store re-set costs  --   895  --   895  --   --   895
Private label

implementation costs
 --   210  --   210  --   --   210
Executive and staff

 --   540  --   540  --   --   540
Store transformation

project costs
 2,096  --   2,096  --   --   --   -- 
=Adjusted EBITDA

 $ 18,986  3,088  13,218  8,857  6,892  5,769  9,980
Cash  $ 5,164  5,356  5,703  5,356  4,189  5,164  4,189
Debt  40,992  64,835  54,180  64,835  59,072  40,992  59,072
Debt, net of cash  $ 35,828  59,479  48,477  59,479  54,883  35,828  54,883
(1) These amounts may not agree with 10-Qs of previous quarters due to subsequent store closures. These closed stores are now included in discontinued operations.
(2) These costs are not consistent quarter-to-quarter as the Company does not open the same number of stores in each quarter of each fiscal year. These costs are directly associated with the number of stores that have been or will be opened and are incurred prior to the grand opening of each store.
(3) For the trailing twelve periods ended January 30, 2011 the average open weeks for the Company's five non same-stores was 26 weeks.
(4) During fiscal year 2011, the Company made changes in its executive management team and warehouse operations. For the trailing twelve periods ended January 31, 2010, these initiatives resulted in approximately $4.3 million reduced SG&A expenses when compared to the same prior year trailing twelve periods. The initiatives include, but are not limited to, executive and staff reduction.
(5) The store transformation project completed in fiscal 2010 continues to provide SG&A savings in fiscal 2011. This initiative achieved approximately $0.5 million in SG&A savings for the fifty-two weeks of fiscal 2011 when compared to the prior year same period.
Duckwall-ALCO Stores, Inc.  
Balance Sheets  
(dollars in thousands, except share and per share amounts)  
      January 30, 2011   January 31, 2010  
Current assets:            
 Cash and cash equivalents   $  4,189 $  5,164  
 Receivables      6,847    7,437  
 Prepaid income taxes      168    594  
 Inventories      151,079    144,413  
 Prepaid expenses      3,720    3,517  
 Deferred income taxes      2,563    2,330  
 Assets held for sale      884    1,631  
 Total current assets      169,450    165,086  
Property and equipment, at cost      101,352    98,505  
Less accumulated depreciation      72,788    67,959  
 Net property and equipment      28,564    30,546  
Property under capital leases, net of accumulated amortization    11,527    1,630  
Deferred income tax - non current      2,180    --   
Other non-current assets      990    51  
 Total assets   $  212,711 $  197,313  
Duckwall-ALCO Stores, Inc.  
Balance Sheets  
(dollars in thousands, except share and per share amounts)  
      January 30, 2011   January 31, 2010  
Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity            
Current liabilities:            
 Current maturities of long-term debt   $  1,414 $  1,451  
 Current maturities of capital lease obligations      703    1,623  
 Accounts payable      25,970    23,076  
 Accrued salaries and commissions      4,133    4,122  
 Accrued taxes other than income      4,822    4,913  
 Self-insurance claim reserves      4,139    4,852  
 Other current liabilities      4,608    4,499  
 Total current liabilities      45,789    44,536  
Long-term debt, less current maturities      --     1,414  
Notes payable under revolving loan agreement      45,282    35,159  
Capital lease obligations - less current maturities      11,673    1,345  
Deferred gain on leases      3,826    4,212  
Deferred income taxes      --     694  
Other noncurrent liabilities      1,850    1,715  
 Total liabilities      108,418    89,075  
Stockholders' equity:            
 Common stock, $.0001 par value, authorized 20,000,000 shares; issued

 and outstanding 3,841,895 shares and 3,797,947 shares, respectively
 1    1  
 Additional paid-in capital      40,003    39,313  
 Retained earnings      64,289    68,924  
 Total stockholders' equity      104,293    108,238  
 Total liabilities and stockholders' equity   $  212,711 $  197,313  
CONTACT:  Wayne S. Peterson
          Senior Vice President - Chief Financial Officer 
          785-263-3350 X164
          Debbie Hagen
          Hagen and Partners

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