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BRIEFLY / EARNINGS

Retailers' Profits Beat Expectations

February 23, 2000|Bloomberg News

Home Depot Inc. said its fourth-quarter profit jumped 38% to $578 million, or 25 cents a share, a penny better than expectations, as sales grew 26% to $9.17 billion. Limited Inc.'s profit from operations rose 37% to $294.9 million, or $1.31 a share, well beyond the $1.18 a share analysts expected, on a 4.9% rise in sales to $3.29 billion. Limited also said it plans to buy back up to $200 million of its shares. Smart & Final Inc. posted fourth-quarter operating earnings of $5.8 million, or 6 cents a share, contrasted with a loss of $16.8 million, or 60 cents, a year ago, as sales rose 5% to $420 million. The Los Angeles-based retailer said reduced operating expenses helped results. Woodland Hills-based health insurer Foundation Health Systems Inc. said fourth-quarter earnings rose 45% to $37.4 million, or 31 cents a share, a penny better than forecasts, as it raised rates for its health plans and left some regions. Revenue fell less than 1% to $2.2 billion.

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