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HP Ousts CEO

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Hewlett-Packard Co. today ousted company chairman and CEO Carly Fiorina, and replaced her with CFO Robert Wayman as interim chief executive. Wayman said HP would not reverse the controversial and mostly unsuccessful Compaq Computer merger, according to Reuters. The company’s shares have lost 63% of their value since Fiorina took her post in 1999, but rose about 10% today.

HP has shown inconsistent financial results under Fiorina’s watch, and the 50-year-old resigned yesterday afternoon. The search for a new CEO who is more in line with the board on how to execute HP’s strategy is now underway.

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Lowes Foods Adopts Biometric Payment

BY CSA STAFF

Winston-Salem, N.C., Lowes Food Stores in North Carolina will go biometric in the spring. Through a deal with Herndon, Va.-based BioPay, the grocery chain will install a fingerprint-scanning system that allows customers to pay for merchandise with a touch of a finger. The chain also uses BioPay’s Paycheck Secure system to cash payroll checks.

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Party City Corp. 2Q Profit Falls

BY CSA STAFF

Rockaway, N.J., Party City Corp.’ second-quarter profit fell on lower sales and higher costs for investments in merchandising and logistics, sharply missing Wall Street estimates.

For the three months ended Jan. 1, net income fell to $14.7 million, or 74? a share, down from $19.3 million, of 98? a share, a year ago. Revenue fell to $174.3 million from $182.6 million. General and administrative expenses rose to $10.7 million from $7.5 million. The company said it expects to benefit from its investments beginning in the fourth quarter.

Same-store sales at company-owned stores dropped 5.6% during the quarter, while franchise stores posted a 2.8% decline. Total chain net sales fell 3% to $356.8 million.

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