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O’Reilly Auto Agrees to Purchase W.E. Lahr, Midwest Auto

BY CSA STAFF

San Francisco, After yesterday’s closing bell on Wall Street, O’Reilly Automotive said it has agreed to buy all of the outstanding stock of W.E. Lahr Co., its Midwest Auto Parts Distributors subsidiary and affiliates for $61 million in cash. The transaction is expected to close by the end of May.

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Toys “R” Us Jumps 67% in Fourth-Quarter Profit

BY CSA STAFF

Newark, N.J., Despite its impending sale to a private consortium, Toys “R” Us’ profit surged 67% during its fourth quarter, as illustrated in the release of its delayed financial results Friday. The surge includes the critical December holidays.

Earnings for the three months, ended Jan. 29, were $259 million, compared to $155 million for the same period a year earlier. The fourth quarter of 2004 included a $20 million gain from a settlement with Visa and MasterCard, a $14 million gain from the sale of a toy store in Santa Monica, Calif., and a $15 million gain from the sale of former Kids “R” Us locations.

For the year, profit was $252 million, compared to $63 million for the year prior. Sales, however, were down, as fourth-quarter sales measured $4.81 billion, slightly less than a year earlier.

In a written statement, Toys “R” Us chairman and CEO John Eyler said the company was pleased with the results.

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NLRB Recommends Dismissal of Claim Against Wal-Mart

BY CSA STAFF

Denver, The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has recommended the dismissal of a complaint that Wal-Mart Stores influenced a vote against forming a union in one of its Colorado stores.

The recommendation was made by a hearing officer, and it now goes to the NLRB’s national office for a final decision.

Local 7 of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union said workers at Wal-Mart’s Tire & Lube Express in Loveland were intimidated into rejecting unionization in a 17-1 vote last February.

No timetable has been given for the NLRB decision.

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