Thursday A.M. Earnings Roundup

• Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Corp. posted an 18% rise in profits for the first quarter, to $286.2 million, or 69? a share, from $241 million, or 59? a share, a year ago. Sales rose 35% to $9.18 billion, from $6.82 billion in the year-ago period. Comp-store sales increased 8.2%., with pharmacy same-store sales rising 8.8% and front-end same-store sales increasing 6.9%.

• Blockbuster Inc. swung to a loss for the first quarter, with earnings totaling $57.5 million, or 31? a share, compared with earnings of $114.4 million, or 63? a share, a year ago. Revenue for the three months ended March 31 increased 3% to $1.55 billion from $1.5 billion last year for the Dallas-based company. The world’s largest video-rental chain attributed the losses to elevated costs from the launch of the “No Late Fees” program, growth of Blockbuster Online, and charges related to efforts to acquire Hollywood Entertainment.

• Chesapeake, Va.-based Dollar Tree Stores, Inc. reported total sales for its first quarter of $749.1 million, a 5.5% increase compared to $710.3 million in the same period last year. Comp-store sales declined 3.7% for the quarter for the nation’s largest dollar store chain.

• Michaels Stores Inc. reported total sales for the first quarter of $821 million, up 13.1% over last year’s $725.9 million. Comp-store sales rose 7.8% for the Irving, Texas-based arts-and-crafts retailer.

• Cost Plus, Inc. announced sales for the first quarter ended April 30, 2005 of $200 million, a 7.7% increase from $185.7 million for the first quarter ended May 1, 2004. Comp-store sales for the quarter decreased 1.9% for the Oakland, Calif.-based retailer.

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