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CASEY'S GENERAL STORES' NINE-MONTH EARNINGS WELL AHEAD OF A YEAR AGO; CONSTRUCTION PLAN REVISED UPWARDS; DIVIDEND DECLARED

CASEY'S GENERAL STORES' NINE-MONTH EARNINGS WELL AHEAD OF A YEAR AGO;
 CONSTRUCTION PLAN REVISED UPWARDS; DIVIDEND DECLARED
 ANKENY, Iowa, March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Earnings of Casey's General Stores Inc. (NASDAQ: CASY) in the 1992 fiscal nine months ended Jan. 31 reached record levels, it was announced today by Donald F. Lamberti, chairman and CEO.
 For the nine months, Casey's earnings totaled a record $10.2 million, or 92 cents a share, up 26.4 percent over the year-ago nine-month earnings of $8.0 million, or 71 cents a share. Sales for the nine months were a record $462.1 million, a 4.2 percent increase over fiscal 1991 nine-month sales of $443.6 million.
 Earnings in the third quarter of $2.7 million, or 24 cents a share, were up 5.5 percent over last year's earnings of $2.5 million, or 23 cents a share. Profits in the year-ago quarter were positively affected by a 5 cent LIFO gasoline inventory adjustment, which was not available this year.
 Sales in the third quarter totaled $141.3 million, compared to the year-ago sales of $144.9 million, down 2.5 percent. Third-quarter sales were lower because of retail gasoline prices. In the year-ago third quarter, during the Mideast Crisis, the average retail price of gasoline sold by Casey's was $1.22 a gallon. In this year's third quarter it was $1.02, a 16.2 percent difference.
 "Our customers continue to benefit from lower gasoline prices," Lamberti pointed out, adding that he expects retail prices to remain below those of a year ago for the foreseeable future.
 Casey's third-quarter earnings gains were attributed to the fact that a record number of shoppers visited Casey's stores for gasoline purchases and to buy store merchandise, particularly prepared-foods, such as pizza and freshly made baked goods.
 Casey's store remodeling program has produced added efficiencies that are lowering costs. "Our stores are more accessible," said Lamberti. "We're moving customers through checkout areas faster than ever before."
 The convenience-store chain has revised its construction schedule. Casey's now plans to build 40 to 45 new stores in the fiscal year beginning May l, which is more than double this year's new-store construction pace.
 Casey's ended the third quarter with 792 stores in its eight-state market territory, including 588 corporate and 204 franchise outlets. This is an increase of 13 stores since the end of last year's third quarter.
 The company's board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of 3 cents a share on common stock, payable May 15 to shareholders of record May 1, 1992. This is the fourth dividend declared by Casey's in the current fiscal year, bringing the annual payout to 12 cents a share, up 20 percent over last year's annual dividend payout.
 -0- 3/3/92
 /CONTACT: Doug Shull of Casey's General Stores, 515-965-6106/
 (CASY) CO: Casey's General Stores Inc. ST: Iowa IN: REA SU: ERN


MC -- DV003 -- 4337 03/03/92 09:02 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 3, 1992
Words:491
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