Converter Boxes Shore Up the Shack

(Feb. 24, 2009) FORT WORTH,TEXAS: Sales of digital-to-analog converter boxes helped Radio Shack through a rough ride last year, but the company still took a hit. Net income for 2008 was down nearly 19 percent, to $192.4 million, compared to 2007, when the figure reached $236.8 million. Revenues for the year fell less than a percent, from nearly $4.3 billion in ’07 to more than $4.2 billion last year.

Radio Shack (NYSE: RSH) attributed the decrease to lower overall sales that were “partially offset by the strong performance of digital television converter boxes,” as well as AT&T wireless upgrades, video game accessories and laptops.

For 4Q08, ending Dec. 31, Shack reported net income of $62 million, down 38 percent from $101 million in 2007. Revenues were down less--about 8 percent--from $1.36 billion in 2007 to nearly $1.26 billion last year. Shack ended the year with nearly $815 million in cash and equivalents.

The stock took a bit of a battering on the results, falling from yesterday’s close of nearly $11, to hover around $8.60 today. The major indices had ticked up around 3 percent over the same period.