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Cabela's shares up on big earnings

Apr. 26, 2013 @ 12:05 AM

NEW YORK -- Cabela's says strong sales of guns and ammunition helped drive its profit up 73 percent in the first quarter, surpassing expectations and briefly driving its shares to all-time highs on Thursday.

The retailer operates stores that sell gear for hunting, fishing and outdoor sports.

Consumer demand for firearms has surged in recent months on worries about the possibilities of increased regulation or bans of certain kinds of weapons in the wake of the December slayings of 20 first-graders and six adult staffers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

The shooting stirred up debate over gun control. A bill to expand background checks for gun purchases was introduced in the Senate, which also fueled demand, even though the bill was voted down last week. In fact, guns and ammunitions have been tough to keep on store shelves.

Millner said Cabela's has been able to keep up with demand better than others because it began diversifying its supplier base four years ago. But he added that supply is still tight, particularly in some categories such as 22-caliber ammunition. Demand shows no sign of slowing, he added.

"I think the honest answer is, I don't know when it's going to loosen up," Millner said.

Sidney, Neb.-based Cabela's Inc. said net income rose to $49.8 million, or 70 cents per share, in the January-March quarter, up from $28.8 million, or 40 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Analysts expected 59 cents per share, according to FactSet.

WV's Blue Smoke Salsa selling to Va. company

CHARLESTON -- A salsa company that started in a West Virginia basement is being acquired by a family-owned food products company in Virginia, the salsa maker's founder said Thursday.

Blue Smoke Salsa's Robin Hildebrand said the tentative deal with Winchester, Va.-based White House Foods is expected to be completed by early June. Financial terms weren't disclosed.

Hildebrand said the company's salsa making operations will stay in southern West Virginia and she'll remain as president of Blue Smoke Salsa.

Hildebrand began the business in her Fayette County home in 1993 as a way of working while raising her kids. In 2011, she declared Blue Smoke Salsa a victim of the sluggish economy. With high costs, she planned to shut it down.

A "Save Blue Smoke Salsa" movement started on a social media site. Customers began placing huge orders. Hildebrand received encouragement from members of West Virginia's congressional delegation whom she had served on panels involving entrepreneurship and small business.

Ultimately, Hildebrand decided the salsa manufacturing operation would go on.

Amazon reports lower earnings, more revenue

SEATTLE -- Amazon.com says its net income declined in the first three months of the year even though revenue increased 22 percent, as its expenses continued to grow.

Amazon.com Inc. said Thursday that it earned $82 million, or 18 cents per share, in the first quarter. That's down 37 percent from $130 million, or 28 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier. But it's higher than the 7 cents expected by analysts polled by FactSet.

Revenue rose 22 percent to $16.07 billion, from $13.19 billion. Analysts expected $16.14 billion.

Amazon's operating expenses rose 22 percent to $15.9 billion, from $13 billion.

Amazon says it expects revenue of $14.5 billion to $16.2 billion for the current quarter. Analysts had expected $15.92 billion.

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