[Commerce Seal]

UNITED STATES BUREAU OF THE CENSUS

Economic and Statistics Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce



ADVANCE DATA ON LARGE RETAILERS` PROFITS
FOR THE FIRST QUARTER 1997

July 1997--Released 10 a.m. (EDT), Wednesday, July 16, 1997 (CB97-116)
Contact: Ronald H. Lee (301) 763-5435 or Laura Schmitz (301) 763-7165.

Notes: For order information, see the end of this report.

[Large Retailers' After-Tax Profits.]

After-tax profits for retail corporations with assets of $50 million and over averaged 1.5 cents per dollar of sales for the first quarter of 1997, down 0.8 (+/-0.1) cents from the preceding quarter, but up 0.2 (+/-0.1) cents from the same quarter in 1996, according to advance data from the Commerce Department`s Bureau of the Census.

For the first quarter of 1997, these large retail corporations reported after-tax profits of $3.7 billion, down $2.7 (+/-0.2) billion from the preceding quarter, but up $0.7 (+/-0.2) billion from the same quarter a year ago. The annual rate of after-tax return on stockholders` equity was 8.7 percent, compared to 15.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 1996 and 7.7 percent in the first quarter of 1996.

First quarter 1997 sales were $238.5 billion, down $33.4 billion or 12.3 (+/-1.3) percent from last quarter. First quarter sales compared to the same quarter a year ago were up $11.0 billion or 4.8 (+/-1.7) percent.

These data are based on quarterly financial reports obtained from 545 corporations. The figures in this release are not seasonally adjusted. More detailed information on the retail trade sector for the first quarter will be published in the Quarterly Financial Report for Manufacturing, Mining, and Trade Corporations--Second Quarter 1997 which is scheduled for release on September l5, 1997.

EXPLANATORY NOTES:

This quarter`s publication contains data revised due to the reclassification of corporations by industry, and revisions that reflect respondents` corrections of submitted data subsequent to original publication.

The data presented in this report are estimated from a sample survey and therefore are subject to sampling variability as well as nonsampling variability such as response error, nonreporting, and coverage errors. Estimates of sampling variability are presented in the publication. A statement such as "up 2.5 (+/-0.1) cents," appearing in the text, indicates the range (+2.4 to +2.6 cents) in which the actual change is likely to have occurred. The range given for the change is a 90 percent confidence interval that accounts only for sampling variability. If the range had contained zero (0), it would have been uncertain whether there was an increase or decrease; that is, the change would not have been statistically significant. For any comparison cited without a confidence interval, the change is statistically significant. The quarterly publication includes more detailed explanations of confidence intervals and sampling variability, along with additional measures of sampling variability.

This report is available on the day of issue through the Department of Commerce`s on-line Economic Bulletin Board (202-482-1986) and on the Internet (http://www.census.gov/csd/www/qfr.html).


TABLE 1. INCOME STATEMENT FOR RETAIL TRADE CORPORATIONS WITH ASSETS OF $50 MILLION AND OVER
                                                     1Q       4Q       1Q
                  Item                             1997     1996(1)  1996(1)
                                                      (million dollars)

Net sales, receipts, and operating revenues.... 238,538  271,926  227,573
Less: Depreciation, depletion, and amortization   5,112    5,056    4,735
Less: All other operating costs and expenses... 224,793  253,605  215,219
                                                
  Income (or loss) from operations.............   8,633   13,265    7,619

Net nonoperating income (expense).............. (2,420)  (2,936)  (2,653)

  Income (or loss) before income taxes.........   6,212   10,329    4,966

Less: Provision for current and deferred         
  domestic income taxes........................   2,532    3,960    2,023
                                                 
  Income (or loss) after income taxes..........   3,680    6,369    2,943
                                                 
Cash dividends charged to retained earnings       1,483    1,320    1,079
  in current quarter...........................  
                                                 
  Net income retained in business..............   2,197    5,049    1,864
                                                 
Retained earnings at beginning of quarter...... 108,287  103,806   98,097
Other direct credits (or charges) to             
  retained earnings (net)...................... (1,509)  (1,566)    (611)
                                                            
Retained earnings at end of quarter............ 108,975  107,289   99,350

(1) Revised.

SOURCE: Quarterly Financial Report for Manufacturing, Mining, and Trade Corporations--QFR-97-1.


TABLE 2. INCOME STATEMENT IN RATIO FORMAT FOR RETAIL TRADE CORPORATIONS WITH ASSETS OF $50 MILLION AND OVER
                                                     1Q     4Q       1Q
                  Item                             1997   1996(1)  1996(1)
                                                          (cents)

Net sales, receipts, and operating revenues....   100.0   100.0    100.0
Less: Depreciation, depletion, and amortization     2.1     1.9      2.1
Less: All other operating costs and expenses...    94.2    93.3     94.6
                                                   
  Income (or loss) from operations.............     3.6     4.9      3.3
                                                  
Net nonoperating income (expense)..............   (1.0)   (1.1)    (1.2)
                                                  
  Income (or loss) before income taxes.........     2.6     3.8      2.2
                                                  
Less: Provision for current and deferred            
  domestic income taxes........................     1.1     1.5      0.9 
                                                    
  Income (or loss) after income taxes..........     1.5     2.3      1.3


(1) Revised.

SOURCE: Quarterly Financial Report for Manufacturing, Mining, and Trade Corporations--QFR-97-1.


TABLE 3. OPERATING RATIOS FOR RETAIL TRADE CORPORATIONS WITH ASSETS OF $50 MILLION AND OVER

                                                     1Q      4Q       1Q
                  Item                             1997    1996(1)  1996(1)
                                                          (percent)

Annual rate of profit on stockholders` equity
  at end of period:
    Before income taxes.........................  14.71   25.07    12.94
    After income taxes..........................   8.71   15.46     7.67
                                                            
Annual rate of profit on total assets:                                  
    Before income taxes.........................   5.05    8.45     4.32
    After income taxes..........................   2.99    5.21     2.56

(1) Revised.

SOURCE: Quarterly Financial Report for Manufacturing, Mining, and Trade Corporations--QFR-97-1.


This report is offered for sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402. The annual subscription rate is $33, (Foriegn customers, $41.25 on an international money order or by draft on a U.S. bank). Single publication copies copies are $10 and $12.50, respectively and are available at the Bureau of the Census, (301) 763-INFO(4636).

Electronic files are also available on 3.5 inch flexible diskettes from Customer Services (diskettes), Administrative and Customer Services Division, Bureau of the Census, Washington, D.C. 20233 (301) 763-INFO(4636). The annual subscription cost is $84; $66 for the first diskette and $6 for each additional diskette. This report is also available on the day of issue through the Department of Commerce`s on-line Economic Bulletin Board (N-8-1) (202-482-1986).

Questions concerning this advance report should be directed to Ronald Lee on (301) 763-5435 or Laura Schmitz on (301) 763-7165.


Back to Quarterly Financial Report
###