Lego, Best Buy, Sears, J.C. Penney report earnings

Characters from "The Lego Movie." Lego, the Danish toy company, reported strong earnings for 2013. (Imeh Akpanudosen / Getty Images)

Lego: Everything is awesome for toy brick company Lego, which said Thursday that its global sales rose 10% last year even as the global toy market suffered a slight revenue slide.

The Danish company, whose star turn in “The Lego Movie” has led the U.S. box office since debuting in theaters Feb. 7, said revenue jumped to $4.5 billion from nearly $4 billion in 2012.

Rival Mattel Inc., the El Segundo toymaker behind the Barbie brand, said last month that its full-year revenue rose 1% to $6.5 billion.

Lego Chief Executive Jorgen Vig Knudstorp said in a statement that the business has more than quadrupled revenue in less than a decade. Lego enjoyed “healthy” single-digit sales growth in the U.S. last year, the company said.

Lego profit swung up 9% to $1.1 billion from $969 million. The company said it boosted its head count 13% to 11,755 full-time employees.

Also last year, the toymaker invested more than $489 million in production capabilities, expanding factories in Mexico and the Czech Republic and making headway on new facilities in Hungary and China.

Best Buy: Consumer electronics chain Best Buy Co. revealed better-than-expected profit for the holiday season, temporarily boosting its stock price.

During the fourth quarter, which ended Feb. 1, the Minneapolis company said it earned $310 million, or 88 cents, from continuing operations. During the same period a year earlier, the business suffered a net loss of $461 million, or $1.36 a share.

Stripping out the effect of special items, earnings per share settled at $1.24, beating Wall Street projections for $1.01 a share.

Best Buy, however, missed estimates for $14.7 billion in revenue and instead turned in a $14.5-billion performance, sliding 3% year over year.

Same store sales, a gauge that removes volatility by considering only stores open more than a year, slid 1.2% in the U.S. but soared 25.8% online.

Investors initially awarded Best Buy by boosting the stock, but by the afternoon in New York, the price was down slightly to $25.81 a share.

The holiday season presented the chain with “unusual circumstances,” including “declining retail traffic, intense promotion, fewer holiday shopping days and severe weather,” said Chief Executive Hubert Joly in a statement. 

Best Buy is “still in the early stages” of a turnaround effort. More than 1,400 locations now feature a ship-from-store option that aims to compete with the sprawling delivery infrastructure on e-commerce rivals such as

Best Buy initially said in November 2012 that it would attempt to cut $725 million in costs from its North American operations.

On Thursday, the retailer boosted that target to $1 billion, saying it had already slashed $765 million in costs. A spokesman declined to comment on a recent report from the New York Post indicating that the retailer is planning to lay off 2,000 managers.

Sears: Sears Holdings Corp. emerged from what Chairman and Chief Executive Edward S. Lampert called a “tough-to-terrible” holiday season with gloomy earnings.

For the fourth quarter, which ended Feb. 1, Sears reported a $358 million net loss, narrowing the $489-million plunge from the same period a year earlier. For the full fiscal year, the Hoffman Estates, Ill., company lost $1.4 billion, the retailer said Thursday.

Still, investors pushed Sears stock up 6.7%, or $2.69, to $43.09 a share in afternoon trading in New York.

Together, Sears and Kmart same-store sales slipped 6.4%. But the company said that the gauge was positive in February.