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    Gas Revenue Boosts Casey's Quarterly Profits 14 Percent

    Company plans to buy at least 43 stores and build 15 more.

    ANKENY, Iowa -- Helped by improving gasoline operations, Ankeny-based Casey's General Stores Inc. reported that first-quarter profits rose 14 percent, furthering the company's expansion plans, reported the Associated Press.

    The operator of gas stations and convenience stores said net income rose to $15.9 million, or 32 cents per share, from $14 million, or 28 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had predicted slightly lower earnings of 31 cents per share.

    Sales rose 20 percent to $733.9 million from $609.4 million a year ago. Gasoline revenue rose 13 percent to $480.5 million from $367 million. Gallons sold rose slightly overall, though on a same-store basis, gallons sold fell 1.4 percent.

    "That's understandable, given the continuing high retail gasoline prices affecting demand,'' chairman and CEO Ronald M. Lamb said in a statement.

    Company officials said adding more stores through acquisition is a priority and that Casey's has plans to buy at least 43 stores and build 15 new stores.

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