Jewelry chain Zales saw its stock boosted by some 30 percent Wednesday (May 22) after announcing that it had retained the former CEO of its most direct competitor, Signet Jewelers, to assume the role of its new chairman.
Terry Burman will become chairman effective May 31, after having served as CEO of Kay Jewelers' parent and Zales' competitor, Signet Jewelers, from 2000 to January 2011, Fox News reported.
John Lowe, who had served as chairman for the past five years, will remain on the board as a director.
The jump in stock price was also aided the old-fashioned way: Zales reported some very good financials on Wednesday: net earnings of $5 million, or 13 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $4.44 million, or 14 cents, handily topping average analyst estimates of a 1-cent loss, according to a Thomson Reuters poll.
The Irving, Texas-based jewelry-store operator's same-store sales, a key growth metric for retailers measuring sales at stores open longer than a year, were up 1.4%. Gross margin edged higher to 52.6 percent of sales from 51.3 percent in the year-earlier period.
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