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The Pantry ekes out a profit

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The Pantry this morning announced that sales and profit fell during its fiscal third quarter, as gasoline prices rose and the recession hurt merchandise sales.

The company, which moved its headquarters to Cary from Sanford this summer, is the largest convenience-store chain in the southeast, with more than 1,600 stores in 11 states.

Net income for the quarter ended June 25 was $43,000, or break-even on a per-share basis. During the same quarter last year, net income was $10.7 million, or 48 cents a share.

Revenue fell 34 percent to $1.63 billion. That was slightly less than Wall Street analysts had expected.

In addition to higher wholesale gas prices, which eat into profit, the results were affected "by the ongoing economic softness in our markets and by higher tobacco excise taxes," said CEO Peter J. Sodini, who plans to retire this fall.

The Pantry's stock is up about 12 percent in the past year, and closed Monday at $18.36, up 81 cents.

Pantry officials will hold a conference call this morning to discuss the quarterly results. A live Webcast will be available at the company's site.

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About the blogger

Assistant Business Editor Alan M. Wolf joined the N&O in 1999 covering the business of health care. He became an editor in 2001, and helps oversee the paper's daily business coverage and Sunday Work&Money section. He lives in Clayton with his wife and two children. Reach him at 919-829-4572 or e-mail him.