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8/5/2004

Array narrows its losses

The Daily Times-Call

BOULDER — Array BioPharma Inc. reported a revenue increase during the most recent quarter, one that the company’s chief executive officer called “terrific.”

Despite revenue of $10.4 million during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004, an increase from $7.1 million during the same period a year ago, the company still lost money, although it cut its losses compared with a year ago.

Net loss for the most recent quarter was $3.6 million, or 12 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $9.4 million,

or 33 cents per share, during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2003.

The company also “continued to build and advance our pipeline of proprietary drug candidates,” CEO Bob Conway said in a conference call with investors.

Citing the potential market for cancer treatment and inflammatory disease drugs, “there remain significant unmet medical needs in these areas,” Conway said.

The company has four wholly owned pre-clinical drug-development programs and “numerous” early-stage drug-discovery programs under way, Conway told investors.

For the fiscal year 2004, Array reported total revenue of $34.8 million but a net loss of $25.5 million, or 89 cents per share. During the previous fiscal year, it had reported a net loss of $19.6 million, or 70 cents per share.

Array did end fiscal 2004 with a positive cash flow of $3 million compared with the previous fiscal year, which Conway cited as a positive.

Array is headquartered in Boulder, with a facility in Longmont.

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Wild Oats Markets’ profit plunges as expenses rise

BOULDER — Wild Oats Market Inc. said this week its profit plunged 83 percent in the second quarter, dragged down by increased direct-store expenses and unexpectedly soft sales at the natural-foods supermarket chain.

Wild Oats also cut its full-year earnings view, based on operating earnings to date.

Shares of the Boulder-based company, which began the trading day Tuesday at $12.45, were trading at $8.06 per share by the close of Thursday, a drop of about 35 percent.

For the second quarter ended June 26, Wild Oats reported net income of $363,000, or 1 cent a share. That’s down from the prior year’s $2.18 million, or 7 cents a share.

Sales rose 3.9 percent to $251.7 million from $242.2 million, driven by total square footage growth of 9.3 percent.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had forecast, on average, earnings of 7 cents a share on sales of $260.8 million.

On a same-store basis, which refers to stores open at least a year, sales rose 1.5 percent.

Direct-store expenses for the second quarter rose 12 percent to $56.3 million, due to higher health and workers’ compensation insurance costs nationwide, as well as increased payroll related to the new stores opened in the quarter.

For the first six months of the year, Wild Oats reported net income of $2.7 million, or 9 cents a share. That’s down from the prior year’s $3.6 million, or 12 cents a share. Net sales rose 7.8 percent to $515.5 million from $478.2 million.

Wild Oats is in the midst of a reorganization to centralize its operations, merchandising and marketing functions.

The company said Tuesday that the reorganization has resulted in the elimination of several senior-level positions, including the job held by David Clark, general manager of Wild Oats stores. The retailer has promoted Chief Financial Officer Ed Dunlap to senior vice president of operations for the entire company. He will continue to serve in a dual role until a new finance chief is hired.

The reorganization will result in a third-quarter charge of $500,000 and expected savings of $5 million in selling, general and administrative expenses annually.

First Call projects third-quarter earnings of 7 cents a share, which would be an improvement from the prior year’s break-even operating earnings.

Wild Oats slashed its full-year earnings view to 20 to 24 cents a share from its February projection of 32 to 36 cents a share.

First Call’s recent estimate had been 33 cents a share. In 2003, Wild Oats earned 12 cents a share, including charges of 11 cents a share.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.