FINANCE

Costco 4Q Earnings Edge Up

BY CSA STAFF

Issaquah, Wash., Costco Wholesale Corp. said Thursday fourth-quarter earnings edged up 1%, driven by a 19% revenue increase, an unexpectedly strong operating performance late in the quarter and lower-than-expected workers’ compensation costs.

Net income grew to $355.6 million for the period ended Sept. 3, from $354.7 million a year ago. Revenue increased to $19.9 billion from $16.7 billion last year. Same-store sales rose 8%.

Net income for fiscal 2006 increased to $1.10 billion, from $1.06 billion a year ago. Revenue rose to $60.2 billion from $53 billion.

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FINANCE

Staples Eyes Expansion

BY CSA STAFF

Framingham, Mass., Staples Inc. has announced that it is on track to deliver a 15% to 20% 3Q profit increase, will open 20 to 25 stores by the end of next year, and said it is upping its long-term goal of private-label sales to 30%.

In an announcement that precedes its analyst conference, Staples also said it is testing a stand-alone copy and print shop to compete with Kinko’s; four will open in Boston this month.

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News

Filmmaker Quits Pro-Wal-Mart Advocacy Group

BY CSA STAFF

Bentonville, Ark., Apro-Wal-Mart advocacy group announced Wednesday that filmmaker Ron Galloway, whose self-financed movie praising Wal-Mart helped the retailer counter a critical documentary last year, has quit the group.

Group spokesman Kevin Sheridan said Galloway cited policy differences when he left the national steering committee of Working Families for Wal-Mart.

Galloway and his brother Robert produced a documentary entitled “Why Wal-Mart Works: And Why That Drives Some People Crazy,” which came out on DVD last November simultaneously with the Robert Greenwald critical documentary “Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price.” Although it had no hand in the production of the Galloway film, Wal-Mart touted it as the counterweight to Greenwald’s negative piece.

According to spokesman Sheridan, the departure of Galloway from the group was amicable.

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