Original Source: FD (FAIR DISCLOSURE) WIRE
OPERATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by and welcome to the Rex Stores fourth quarter and year end results conference call. [OPERATOR INSTRUCTIONS]. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded Thursday March 31st, 2005. I would now like to turn the conference over to Mr. Stuart Rose, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Rex Stores. Please go ahead, sir.
STUART ROSE, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, REX STORES CORPORATION: Thank you. This conference call contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements can be identified by use of forward-looking terminology such as may, expect, believe, estimate, anticipate, or continue or the negative thereof, or other variations thereon or comparable terminology. Listeners are cautioned that there are risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events or results to differ materially from those referred to in such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties could, among other things, the highly competitive nature of the consumer electronics industry, changes in the national or regional economies, weather, the effects of terrorism or acts of war on consumer spending patterns, availability of certain products, technological changes, new regulatory restrictions or tax law changes related to the Company's synthetic fuel investments, the price of oil, the fluctuating amount of quarterly payments received by the Company with respect to the sale of its partnership interest in the synthetic fuel investment, and the uncertain amount of synthetic fuel production and tax credits received from one time -- from time to time from the Company's synthetic fuel investments.
I'd like to thank everyone for listening. For the fourth quarter, our earnings for the quarter were 16.8 million, versus 17.1 million, again, we would -- as in last year we received --- we did a phenomenal job, in the synthetic -- or received -- I wouldn't say we did, but we received a large amount of income due to our synthetic fuel partnerships. Sales were down a little bit, 125.4 million, versus 130.2. Comps were down about 2%. Main cause for that was some bad weather that hit us during -- right before Christmas in the midwest. We also had in transforming our Company, we now sell a lot more major items like big-screen television and a lot less commodity items. And, so we don't have as many Christmas items as we -- or that's not as big a percent of our sales as it has been in the past, so it's hurt our -- it hurt our comps a little bit. We did, during the quarter, have large increases in plasma, LCD product, and DLP product.
For the year our net income was up a little bit, 25 -- 27.5 million, versus 27.4 million. Earnings per share were flat, 2.17 per share both years -- both years. Sales for the year were down a little bit, 391 million, versus 405 million. Some of that was caused by store closings, again, weather, got hit by a couple of things this year that -- really, three things this year that caused some decrease in sales. First thing was the cold weather during the summer. Second thing were the Floridas -- were the hurricanes in Florida. The third thing were the storms during Christmas. Also, as we move to further commoditize -- or some of our products became further commoditized, such as audio, DVD. We've lost some sales in that area. On the other hand, we've had huge increases in plasma, LCD, and DLP which is really the direction we're taking -- we're taking -- trying to take the Company right now.
Going forward, current comps in February and March are running in the mid-single digit figures, and that's even with the loss of two days. We did not, we were up against a leap year this year and an early Easter. The early Easter will be picked up in April, so we'll get one of those days back. The increases are coming in the plasma and the LCD and the DLP area. Again, finally, most of our markets have high-definition television sets. Now the prices for plasma, LCD are more affordable. It's also a product that we're confident we can outsell our …