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May 13, 2011

Mental check ordered for man in mid-air incident

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A federal judge on Friday denied bail and ordered a mental evaluation for a Yemeni man accused of trying to break into the cockpit of an American Airlines flight.

U.S. Magistrate Judge James Larson ordered Rageh Al-Musiri to be evaluated by a mental health professional after a defense attorney said that the 28-year-old defendant’s actions may have been prompted by mental illness and not criminal intent.

May 7, 2011

Accused California serial killer to represent himself

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A photographer accused of killing four northern California women whose first and last names began with the same letter was given permission on Friday to act as his own attorney as the case proceeds.

Joseph Naso, 77, told Marin County Superior Court Judge Andrew Sweet in the northern California city of San Rafael that he could do a better job defending himself than a lawyer, said Barry Borden, Marin County chief deputy district attorney.

Apr 7, 2011

California man pleads innocent to Dugard kidnapping

PLACERVILLE, California (Reuters) – A California man pleaded not guilty on Thursday to kidnapping 11-year-old Jaycee Dugard in 1991 and holding her captive for 18 years, clearing the way for trial of the sensational case later this summer.

Phillip Garrido’s not guilty plea came as a surprise to reporters and court watchers after a lawyer for his wife and co-defendant, Nancy Garrido, had said the 59-year-old defendant would plead guilty under an agreement with prosecutors.

Mar 31, 2011

Bonds doctor testimony differs from other witness

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Barry Bonds’ orthopedic surgeon on Thursday said he gave information on the link between steroids and tendon injuries to a childhood friend of baseball’s home run king.

But Arthur Ting, who performed eight surgeries on Bonds, said at the slugger’s perjury trial that he had no other conversation regarding steroids with Steve Hoskins, Bonds’ old friend and former business partner.

Mar 10, 2010

Walmart returns items to shelves after lost sales

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc <WMT.N> has put roughly 300 items back on its U.S. store shelves after the retailer said it “disappointed” customers by not stocking certain products.

“We did discontinue some things that people didn’t buy very often, but were aggravating to a customer to lose,” said Walmart U.S. Chief Operating Officer Bill Simon, speaking at a Bank of America Merrill Lynch conference, which was broadcast over the Internet.

Mar 3, 2010

Warehouse clubs Costco, BJ’s miss profit estimates

SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK, March 3 (Reuters) – Warehouse club
operators Costco Wholesale Corp <COST.O> and BJ’s Wholesale
Club Inc <BJ.N> posted quarterly earnings below Wall Street
estimates, hurt by falling food prices. Shares of Costco fell less than 1 percent, while BJ's dropped more than 5 percent. Meanwhile, close-out retailer Big Lots Inc <BIG.N>, which specializes in sales of excess inventory, reported higher-than-expected earnings, sending its shares up more than 2 percent. Costco, the No. 1 U.S. warehouse club operator, sought to win market share during the recession by cutting prices and delaying price increases. While that strategy apparently helped it retain customers, the company has not improved its margins as quickly as Wall Street had hoped, said Robert W. Baird & Co analyst Peter Benedict. Costco's gross margins improved by 26 basis points, Benedict said, while he had expected an increase of 37 basis points. "It's a very low-margin business, so a few basis points here and there can have an outsized effect" on results, he said. Costco also said February same-store sales rose 9 percent, including the impact of fuel prices and foreign exchange. Excluding a charge for employee benefits, Costco earned 70 cents per share in the second quarter ended Feb. 14. Analysts on average were expecting 72 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. [ID:nSGE6220B6] Quarterly sales rose 11 percent to $18.36 billion, excluding membership fees, which rose 9 percent to $386 million. Same-store sales increased 9 percent. ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Graphic on Costco results link.reuters.com/xas23j ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Warehouse clubs charge customers an annual fee to shop in their stores and get discounts on items ranging from cartons of fresh fruit to flat-screen televisions. Costco, Wal-Mart Stores Inc's <WMT.N> Sam's Club and BJ's Wholesale have gained customers seeking low prices on necessities like groceries or toiletries in the economic downturn. But falling prices for food and electronics have pressured the clubs' results. On its conference call, BJ's Wholesale said it continued to be "significantly impacted" by deflationary pressures, especially for perishable food. While demand for discretionary merchandise is "creeping along," Chief Executive Officer Laura Sen said, she has not seen any major turnaround in that area. BJ's said net profit rose to $55.1 million, or $1.01 a share, in the fourth quarter ended on Jan. 30 from $52.7 million, or 91 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, it earned 95 cents a share, missing the analysts' average estimate by a penny. Sales in the holiday quarter rose 9.4 percent to $2.74 billion, while same-store sales rose 4.6 percent, including fuel. February same-store sales rose 7.5 percent. A calendar shift in the timing of the Super Bowl from January last year to February this year boosted merchandise comparable-club sales by 2 percentage points, BJ's said. However, the impact of severe winter storms more than offset that benefit. For the first quarter, BJ's forecast earnings per share of 40 cents to 45 cents. Analysts on average expect 43 cents. BIG LOTS BEATS; OPTIMISTIC ABOUT Q1 Big Lots said profit rose to $105.4 million, or $1.27 per share, in the fourth quarter ended on Jan. 30 from $78.8 million, or 96 cents a share, a year earlier. The retailer also increased the size of its share repurchase program to $400 million. [ID:nSGE6210KT] Excluding one-time items, it earned $1.31 a share, beating the analysts' average estimate of $1.28. On a conference call, Big Lots said customers responded well to its reward points scheme and that February sales benefited from a special event and a strong President's Day. [ID:nWEN1163] For the first quarter, the company expects earnings of 60 cents to 65 cents a share from continuing operations. Analysts were looking for 53 cents. Big Lots shares rose 2.2 percent to $34.68 in morning trading. BJ's fell 5.4 percent to $34.51, while Costco was down 0.4 percent at $61.12. (Reporting by Nicole Maestri and Dhanya Skariachan; Additional reporting by Nivedita Bhattacharjee; Editing by Michele Gershberg and John Wallace)

Feb 25, 2010

Gap profit beats Street, gives upbeat forecast

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 25 (Reuters) – Gap Inc <GPS.N> posted a
45 percent rise in profit during its holiday quarter, helped by
fewer discounts and improved sales in all divisions, and gave a
2010 profit forecast that beat Wall Street’s estimates.

The operator of Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy apparel
stores also raised its fiscal 2010 dividend 18 percent to 40
cents and authorized an extra $1 billion in share repurchases.
Shares in the company rose 2 percent after-hours.

Feb 25, 2010

Wal-Mart to cut emissions from supply chain

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Wal-Mart Stores Inc plans to massively cut greenhouse gas emissions from its global supply chain within five years — an effort the retailer said is equivalent to taking more than 3.8 million cars off the road for a year.

Wal-Mart will reach that goal by having its suppliers reduce emissions involved in the sourcing, manufacturing, transportation, and disposal of the thousands of products it sells in its stores.

Feb 23, 2010

Target holiday profit up, has tepid 1st quarter view

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Target Corp <TGT.N> posted a quarterly profit slightly above Wall Street expectations, helped by better-than-expected holiday sales, improved margins and a lower tax rate.

The No. 2 U.S. discount retailer said its shoppers are “increasingly confident” and willing to buy more discretionary items, like clothes or home decor. But it said the current Wall Street estimate for its first-quarter earnings is above its own forecast.

Feb 19, 2010
via Shop Talk

Check Out Line: Penney gives market positive surprise

Photo

Check out the better-than-expected quarterly results and earnings forecast from J.C. Penney.

The department store operator also said same-store sales would improve during 2010 — it expects same-store sales to be flat in the first quarter and up in the “low-single digits” for the full fiscal year.

    • About Nicole

      "Nicole Maestri is a retail correspondent for Reuters and covers some of the world's biggest retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Costco."
      Joined Reuters:
      2002
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