Founded in 1968 by Bill and Barb Pearse as SoundTrack and a public company since 1993, Ultimate Electronics last month reported sales of $580.22 million for its fiscal year ending January 31, 2002, representing a 20 percent increase from the prior year.
The sales increase was driven in part by the company's entry last year into Oklahoma City with two new locations and into St. Louis with six locations. Comparable store sales were down 2 percent for the year but up 2 percent for UE's fiscal fourth quarter. Ultimate Electronic Gross margins for the fiscal year decreased to 31 percent from 31.4 percent due to "higher than expected inventory shrinkage during the fourth quarter, reduced amortization of warranties sold prior to February 1, 2000, and the continued shift in merchandise mix toward lower margin products."
According to Chairman and Founder Bill Pearse, going public "is the best thing we ever did.…We've been able to grow the company dramatically, in a way we've always envisioned, and we're very happy with our prospects for the future."