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Costco’s Sales Soar; Apollo Group and Peregrine Rise; Yum! Reports

Costco (COST) is up 1.5% in early trading after reporting same-store sales for June. Costco says figures rose 6% for the month, beating estimates of 5.4% which also would have been impressive. This number is part of a larger climb. Last month same-store sales were up 5%. A year ago they were a more modest 3% Good weather, lower gas prices, and an improving housing market are all cited as reasons for gains. Shares of Costco are up 12% year-to-date.

Apollo Group (APOL) has been up more than 7% in early trading. Apollo says its University of Phoenix has gotten its accreditation extended through 2023. The company has also avoided being put on probation by the Higher Learning Commission. However, it will remain under watch for its administrative structure and governance. Prior to the moves we're seeing this morning , Apollo is down 15% year-to-date. The past 52-weeks have been even more bruising with the stock down 45%.

Yum! Brands (YUM) is up fractionally after reporting quarterly results after yesterday's closing bell. The company says it made 56-cents a share excluding special items when expectations were for 54-cents. That was still down from 67-cents a year ago, and the company missed estimated for revenue by $30 million. The trouble of course comes from Yum's KFC stores in China where same store sales fell 20% from last year because of bird flu and food safety concerns. Despite the drop in business, Yum shares remain up 8% this year.

Peregrine Pharmaceuticals (PPHM) reports after the closing bell. The stock rose 5% yesterday. Peregrine is expected to post a loss of 6-cents a share. That would be an improvement from losses of 10-cents a share a year ago. Revenue it likely to be up more than 50%, but to only $3.5 million. Peregrine concentrates on antibody-based treatments for cancer, hepatitis-C and other viral infections. It currently has a market cap of about $200 million. Shares are up 96% over the past year. But the stock dropped 10% in the past month because company has abandoned tests of a cancer treatment.

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