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True Religion to explore sale of company

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Vernon, Calif. — True Religion Apparel said Wednesday it is evaluation strategic alternatives, which could include the sale of the company.

The denim manufacturer, which also operates about 140 retail stores, said it was contacted by interested third parties, which triggered the formation of a special committee to explore alternatives.

No timetable for a potential sale has been set.

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Costco Q4 profit jumps 27%

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Issaquah, Wash. — Costco Wholesale Corp. reported Wednesday that net income for the quarter ended Sept. 2 jumped 27% to $609 million, from $478 million in the year-ago period. The warehouse club operator credited strong sales and higher member fees for the improved profit performance.

Sales climbed 14% to $31.52 billion, and same-store sales rose 5%. Membership fee revenue rose 18% to $694 million. The company said it plans to open up to 14 new warehouses before the end of calendar year 2012.

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Best Buy CFO steps down

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Minneapolis — Best Buy Co. said Tuesday that CFO James Muehlbauer has resigned the company. He will continue in an advisory capacity until Feb. 3.

The retailer said it has launched a search for a permanent replacement.

Muehlbauer’s resignation is the latest in a string of executive departures for Best Buy, and comes as founder and former chairman Richard Schulze mulls an offer to buy the company.

According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Muehlbauer will receive a lump sum payment of $1.4 million as part of his separation benefits.

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