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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Sharper Image Holds On For Dear Life. (SHRP)

The founder and CEO of Sharper Image, Richard Thalheimer, must have nine inch nails. There is no other way the guy could hold onto his job.

Sharper Image reported another disappointing month of sales in August. The company is shrinking so fast, it may just disappear.

Revenue dropped from $37.5 million to $32.4 million for the month. Comparable store sales dropped 22%, which may be the worst for any retail chain this August. Internet sales were down 10%.

When Sharper Image reports results on September 7, it is bound to be ugly. The company will be lucky to do $400 million in sales this year. Over the last three fiscal years (ending January 31), total revenue has averaged about $700 million a year.

Sharper Image has lost money three of the last four quarters. It dawned on investors awhile ago that the company no longer markets items that anyone wants. But, the CEO continues to hang on.

The shares have gone on a gruesome ride. In last 2004, the stock hit almost $25. It now trades at $9.48, just above its 52-week low of $8.75.

If management stays in place, Sharper Image could go lower.

Douglas A. McIntyre can be reached at He does not own securities in companies that he writes about.

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