Thanks to an $11.2-million pretax gain on sale of real estate, Price Co. reported a $28.5-million profit for its third quarter, up from $25.1 million over the same period last year. Revenues for the 12-week third quarter ended June 7 were $1.658 billion, compared with $1.504 billion last year, an increase of 10%.
Price Co. shares closed down $.25 cents to $32.75 in over-the-counter trading Thursday. Price Co. operates 80 Price Club membership warehouses in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
The real estate gain came from the sale of Price-owned facilities and shopping centers to Price REIT, a real estate investment trust set up by Price Co. last year. Earnings from warehouse operations were down 6% from last year, which follows a 15% decline in income from warehouse operations over the second quarter this year.
In a letter to shareholders, Price Co. Chairman Robert Price said that the sluggish Southern California economy, tough competition in Philadelphia and other markets, and the prohibition from opening Canadian warehouses on Sundays were responsible for the decline in operating earnings.
In the 40 weeks of fiscal 1992, Price Co. net income was $99.5 million, down 1% from $100 million last year. Sales over the first three quarters were $5.631 billion, up 12% from $5.028 billion last year.
"Same store sales," or sales at Price Clubs that have been operating at least one year or more, increased 2.5% in the third quarter over the same period last year and were up 3.3% for the 40-week period.