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Susser expects 4.2 pct. rise in key sales metric

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas (AP) -- Convenience store chain Susser Holdings Corp. anticipates that merchandise sales at stores open at least a year climbed about 4.2 percent in the first quarter.

Susser said Tuesday that it opened four new Stripes convenience stores during the quarter and closed one store that is being rebuilt. The Corpus Christi, Texas company had 562 Stripes stores at March's end.

Sales at stores open at least a year is a closely watched indicator of retail health as it excludes the potentially distorting effects from stores opened or closed in the past year.

Susser Holdings is also a majority owner in Susser Petroleum Partners LP, which distributes fuel to Stripes stores.

Susser Holdings and Susser Petroleum are expected to report their first-quarter financial results on May 8.

Shares of Susser Holdings closed at $50 on Monday. For the year to date, the stock is up 45 percent.