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  • Helped by solid growth in its cereal and snack businesses, Kellogg Co. reported that first quarter net income rose to $163.9 million, from $152.6 million in the year-ago period. The results met the upper end of Wall Street estimates. Net sales rose 4.2 percent to $2.15 billion.

  • Starbucks Corp. reported a 64 percent increase in its second-quarter profit, reaching $52.1 million compared with a profit of $31.7 million for the year-ago quarter. Starbucks reported revenues of $954 million, up 22 percent over sales of $783 million last year.

  • Sara Lee Corp. posted third-quarter net income of $269 million, compared with $257 million a year earlier. Third-quarter sales rose 3.6 percent to $4.35 billion but reportedly would have fallen without the benefit of the weak dollar.

    Reuters reports that Sara Lee Corp. says that its earnings are being hurt by the weak economy, which has slowed down business for its foodservice and restaurant customers.

    While the company has been working to streamline its operations for the past two years, roughly half of its revenue comes from businesses that are either flat or declining, according to company CEO Steven McMillan.

    “It's certainly clear to me that we need to take another very hard look at our portfolio and business or brands to determine those that should be run radically differently in the future,” or even divested, McMillan said in a conference call with analysts.

  • reported a narrower-than-expected first-quarter loss of $10 million, compared with a loss of $23 million during the same period a year ago. Revenue rose to $1.084 billion from $847 million a year earlier, the first time Amazon has surpassed the $1 billion mark in a non-holiday quarter.

    The company said that the strong performance was driven by its free shipping offer (which costs the company about $30 million a year) and international sales, which were up 68 percent.

  • Ruddick Corp., which owns Harris Teeter supermarkets, posted second quarter sales of $685 million, up from $659.5 million during the same period a year ago. Net income was up to $14.4 million, almost twice the $8.7 million registered during the second quarter a year earlier.

    For the six months ended March 30, 2003, sales of $1.36 billion were 3.9 percent above the $1.31 billion for the comparable period last year. Consolidated net income for the period was $27.4 million, compared to $19.2 million in the same period of fiscal 2002.

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