The Pantry reported fourth quarter results this morning that were below analyst expectations, as the Cary convenience store chain continued to face sluggish merchandise sales at its stores.
Excluding one-time charges, the Cary convenience store chain reported net income of $8.4 million, or 37 cents a share, compared to 43 cents a share during the same period a year ago.
Net income for the fiscal year 2011 was $17.5 million or $0.78 per share, compared to earnings per share of $0.97 in the prior year.
That was below 99 cents per share, the consensus among analysts who follow the company.
The Pantry has more than 1,600 stores throughout the Southeast, primarily under the Kangaroo Express brand. Merchandise sales at those stores decreased .8 percent in the fourth quarter, compared to a 7.7 percent increase during the same period a year ago.
For the year, merchandise sales were down .2 percent.
In a statement, interim CEO Edwin Holman said next year would be a transitional period for the company and that actions are needed to improve comparable store sales.
He also said the company would focus on a pricing strategy that is intended to both improve merchandise sales and align gasoline volumes with industry trends.