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Casey's shares jump on 1Q results

The Associated Press

Shares of Casey's General Stores Inc. jumped in trading Tuesday after the convenience store operator reported better-than-expected first-quarter results.

THE SPARK: Casey reported late Monday that it earned $39 million, or $1.01 per share, for the quarter that ended July 31. That's compared with $39.4 million, or $1.03 per share, in the same quarter last year. Its total revenue was nearly flat at $1.87 billion as increased sales of beer, prepared foods and other items in its stores offset weaker gasoline revenue.

Analysts polled by FactSet were expecting the company to earn 95 cents per share on revenue of $1.93 billion, on average.

THE BIG PICTURE: Casey's struggled with higher costs as it converted more stores to 24-hour operations and in turn, had to pay more to staff those sites around the clock. It also was operating 33 more stores than a year ago.

However, the Ankeny, Iowa, company was helped out by a $3.5 million benefit due to a change in the Illinois cigarette tax.

SHARE ACTION: Casey's shares jumped $2.61, or nearly 5 percent, to $58.27 in afternoon trading. Its shares have traded between $41.72 and $63 in the past 52 weeks.