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CVS Q2 profit jumps 23%

BY Dan Berthiaume

Woonsocket, R.I. — CVS Caremark Corp.’s first-quarter earnings rose a better-than-expected 23% as new generic drugs and demand for flu medications helped the company’s profitability. The chain narrowed its 2013 guidance to reflect higher-than-expected performance.

For the first quarter, CVS earned $956 million, up from $776 million in last year’s quarter.

Companywide revenue slipped 0.1% to $30.76 billion, but exceeded the $30.36 billion that Wall Street expected.

"I’m very pleased with our strong first quarter results,” said CVS president and CEO Larry Merlo. “As expected, the influx of new generic drugs was a key driver across the enterprise, resulting in solid gross margin expansion as well as significant growth in operating profit and earnings.”

During the quarter, CVS opened 37 drug stores and closed nine stores, while also relocating 15 units. As of March 31, 2013, the company operated 7,596 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Brazil. These locations included 7,531 retail drug stores, 18 onsite pharmacies, 31 retail specialty pharmacy stores, 12 specialty mail-order pharmacies and four mail-order pharmacies.

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Big 5 Sporting Goods has big first quarter; 15 to 20 new stores planned

BY Dan Berthiaume

El Segundo, Calif. — Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. reported upticks in net income, sales and same store sales for first quarter fiscal 2013. Net income grew from $156,000 to $7.5 million.

Net sales were $246.5 million, up from $218.3 million a year earlier, while same-store sales rose 10.5%. First quarter sales improved despite the negative impact of the calendar shift of the Easter holiday, when the retailer’s stores are closed.

For the second quarter of fiscal 2013, Big 5 is anticipating a same store sales increase in the positive mid-single-digit range, which takes the positive impact of moving Easter from the second to the first quarter into account.

"We are pleased to deliver a quarter of very strong earnings growth, driven by a double-digit increase in same store sales, improvements in customer traffic and average sale and expansion of merchandise and operating margins," said Big 5 Sporting Foods chairman, president and CEO Steven G. Miller. "Our operating results significantly exceeded the upper end of our guidance range issued in late February as a result of a stronger than anticipated performance during our March period. Our positive sales trends have continued into the second quarter and we feel well positioned to deliver strong results as we move through the spring and into the summer season."

The retailer opened one new store and closed one store during the first quarter as part of a relocation program that began in fiscal 2012. It ended the quarter with 414 stores. Big 5 expects to open two new stores during the second quarter and a net of 15-20 new stores during the entire fiscal year.

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May-02-2013 03:09 pm

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Sports Chalet taps Financial Profiles to be investor relations firm

BY Staff Writer

Los Angeles — Sport Chalet announced it has retained Financial Profiles as its investor relations firm.

"We have a number of important strategic initiatives in place to drive shareholder value and the time is right to step up our investor relations efforts," said Craig Levra, chairman and CFO of Sport Chalet. "We are pleased to collaborate with Financial Profiles to develop and implement a strategic investor relations program designed to build Sport Chalet’s visibility within the investment community."

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