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    The Pantry Raises 2006 Earnings Outlook

    New numbers "substantially exceed" original projections.

    SANFORD, N.C. -- The Pantry, the nation's 10th largest operator of convenience stores, yesterday raised its profit projections for both its third quarter and full-year 2006 results. The Sanford, N.C.-based chain expects its third quarter earnings to fall between $3.80 and $3.85 per share, up from its previous estimates of $3.20 to $3.30 per share, according to the Triangle Business Journal.

    The Pantry chairman and chief executive Peter J. Sodini said the improved outlook is attributable to higher than expected revenue from acquisitions completed within the past two years and the recent drop in gasoline prices, which has enabled many gasoline retailers to increase margins.

    Last year, The Pantry reported full-year earnings of $2.64 per share, which included a 22 cent charge from store closings, impairment charges and uninsured losses with Hurricane Katrina. Its fiscal 2006 earnings and fourth quarter results will be announced Nov. 16, the Journal reported.

    The Pantry, which operates 1,493 stores in 11 states, had net sales of $4.4 billion in fiscal 2005.

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