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Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Retail profits surprise, but still down

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Check out the Retail Metrics earnings snapshot. ARCANDOR/

About two-thirds of the way through the second-quarter earnings season, retailers are beating earnings expectations by 5.1 percent on average, the research firm said.

But those were pretty low expectations and earnings are still down 6.4 percent compared with a year earlier. It is even worse when Wal-Mart is excluded. Then earnings are down 9.8 percent, Retail Metrics said.

Revenue is also down 2 percent.

With 83 retailers reporting, 41 percent had year-over-year earnings gains and 57 percent had declines.

Auto parts, drug and apparel retailers were among the groups seeing earnings gains, while teen apparel, department stores and home building supply stores were among the worst performers, Retail Metrics said.

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