CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) — Convenience store operator Susser Holdings Corp.'s first-quarter loss widened, stung by higher operating expenses during a seasonally slow period.
The operator of the Stripes convenience stores said Wednesday that it lost $528,000, or 3 cents per share, for the three months ended April 1. A year earlier it lost $23,000, breaking even on a per share basis.
Analysts polled by FactSet expected breakeven earnings per share.
Total operating expenses increased to $113.4 million from $105 million.
Revenue increased 21 percent to $1.41 billion from $1.17 billion, helped by better fuel sales and merchandise sales. Wall Street predicted $1.4 billion in revenue.
Average gallons of fuel sold per store per week rose 5.8 percent to about 30,000, with gas prices up 31 cents per gallon on average.
Merchandise sales at stores open at least a year rose 6.7 percent. This figure is a key indicator of a retailer's health because it excludes results from stores recently opened or closed.
Susser, based in Corpus Christi, Texas, maintained its full-year forecast for merchandise sales at stores open at least a year to climb 3 percent to 6 percent.
Its shares rose 91 cents, or 3.2 percent, to $29.23 in morning trading Wednesday after rising to a new all-time high of $29.64 earlier in the session.
Susser has about 1,100 company-run or contracted locations. It has more than 540 convenience stores in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma under the Stripes name. Restaurant service is available in more than 330 of its stores, mostly under the proprietary Laredo Taco Co. brand.