FINANCE

Thursday A.M. Earnings Roundup

BY CSA STAFF

• 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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FINANCE

Whole Foods Net Income Jumps 22% in 2Q

BY CSA STAFF

Austin, Texas, Whole Foods Market’s sales increased 20% to $1.1 billion for its second quarter, ended April 10, 2005, driven by same-store sales growth of 11.6% and 13% weighted average year-over-year square footage growth. Net income increased 22% to $42 million, and diluted earnings per share increased 17% to 61?.

“We are very pleased with our performance year to date, particularly in light of our difficult year-to-year comparisons,” said John Mackey, chairman and CEO, Whole Foods Market. “Due to our strong sales growth, we are raising our comparable-store sales guidance for the year to a range of 9% to 11% from 8% to 10%.”

Whole Foods opened two stores in the quarter, in Swampscott, Mass., and New York City, ending the period with 168 stores. The company today opened its third store in Canada and expects to open two additional stores during the third quarter, including one relocation. Currently, Whole Foods has 59 stores in its development pipeline, up 28% from a year ago.

The company also announced that based on new determinations by the Securities and Exchange Commission, it will return to and continue its previous practice of capitalizing rent during the construction period.

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FINANCE

Cache Names CFO

BY CSA STAFF

New York City, Upscale women’s apparel retailer Cache Inc. has promoted Margaret Feeney to executive VP and CFO from her former post as VP, finance, effective immediately. Prior to joining Cache in 1992, Feeney held financial posts at Toys “R” Us and Brooks Fashion Stores, a junior specialty chain.

In earnings news, the retailer said its comp-store sales for the four weeks ended April 30 fell 3%. Total sales for April were $24 million, up 3.9% vs. the same period in 2004.

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