Toys R Us Posts Loss, Meets Estimates

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Toys R Us Inc., the No. 1 U.S. toy chain, on Monday reported a fiscal second-quarter loss, reversing a profit a year ago, hurt by the stalled U.S. economy and spending to remodel stores.

The Paramus, New Jersey-based retailer, which warned last month of lower-than-expected quarterly and full-year earnings, said its net loss was $29 million, or 15 cents a share, compared with a profit of $3 million, or 1 cent a share, in the year-earlier period.

The company met analysts' estimates, which ranged from a loss of 14 cents to a loss of 16 cents a share, with a mean estimate of a loss of 15 cents, according to research firm Thomson Financial/First Call.

Last year, Toys R Us announced a wide-ranging initiative to boost sales and earnings, including remodeling 250 stores in fiscal 2001 and improving customer service. In December, the company said the changes would increase operating expenses in the first three quarters of this year.

Shares of Toys R Us closed up 39 cents at $22.40 on Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has gained 34 percent since the beginning of the year, easily outperforming the broader Standard & Poor's 500 index, which has lost 12 percent during that same period.