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Pantry 2Q loss narrows, results miss Street view

CARY, N.C. (AP) -- Convenience store operator The Pantry Inc. said Tuesday that its fiscal second-quarter loss narrowed as it reduced expenses. But the results missed Wall Street's estimates, and its shares dropped.

For the three months ended March 28, the Cary, N.C., company lost $6.9 million, or 30 cents per share. That compares with a loss of $9.7 million, or 43 cents per share, a year ago.

Excluding one-time items, Pantry lost 28 cents per share. Revenue fell 8 percent to $1.89 billion.

Analysts forecast a loss of 21 cents per share and $1.92 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Merchandise sales in stores open at least a year fell 2 percent. That was up 0.1 percent when cigarettes are excluded. That is a key indicator of a retailer's health because it excludes stores recently opened or closed.

CEO Dennis Hatchell said in a statement that traffic at stores dropped 4.6 percent, hurt by bad weather and weaker consumer confidence.

The Pantry's stock fell $1.69, or 11.4 percent, to $13.15 in afternoon trading. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $11.28 to $16.36.