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Kroger reports rise in Q1 sales

BY Allison Cerra

CINCINNATI One of the nation’s largest traditional grocery retailers reported a rise in its first-quarter sales, compared with the same period last year.

Kroger said that total sales, including fuel, jumped 8.7% to $24.8 billion in first quarter 2010, compared with $22.8 billion for the same period last year. Excluding fuel sales, total sales increased 3.1% in the first quarter, which ended May 22, over the same period last year. Conversely, first-quarter same-store sales increased 2.4%.

Meanwhile, net earnings dropped to $373.7 million, or 58 cents per diluted share, from $435.1 million, or 66 cents per diluted share.

The company confirmed its fiscal guidance and said it continues to expect identical-supermarket sales growth, excluding fuel, of 2% to 3% for the year. Net earnings are expected to range from $1.60 to $1.80 per diluted share for the year. Kroger chairman and CEO David Dillon said that Kroger continued its “customer first” strategy and will “continue to build momentum and grow market share.”

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‘Battle of the bulge’ solved with Perfect Fit Button

BY Allison Cerra

FAIRFIELD, N.J. Need a quick fix for pants that just don’t fit right? Look no further than the Perfect Fit Button, an innovative new product that helps prolong the comfortable fit of pants, jeans or skirts by creating an easy way to adjust the waistband.

Made by TeleBrands, the company behind such products as storage solution Shoes Under and PedEgg, the Perfect Fit Button is the newest way to get pants and skirts to fit without having to spend extra money. It retails for $9.99 for a set of eight.

Visit PerfectFitButton.com for more information.

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Patient enrollment complete for lung cancer treatment trial

BY Alaric DeArment

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. Drug maker OXiGENE has finished enrolling patients for a mid-stage clinical trial of a lung cancer treatment, the company said Wednesday.

OXiGENE announced that it had enrolled 60 patients in “FALCON,” a phase 2 trial of the drug Zybrestat, a treatment for non-small cell lung cancer. The trial comprises two arms, a study arm with patients taking Zybrestat with Genentech’s Avastin (bevacizumab) and chemotherapy, and a control arm with patients taking Avastin and chemotherapy alone. OXiGENE said some preliminary results from the trial presented at the recent meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology have indicated that the drug is safe and effective.

“We look forward to presenting a more complete analysis of the FALCON trial later in 2010 at a scientific meeting,” OXiGENE CEO Peter Langecker said. “If the encouraging positive trends in terms of progression-free survival and overall survival that we presented at ASCO are maintained, they will underscore Zybrestat’s utility in non-small cell lung cancer and potentially pave the way toward embarking upon a registration pathway.”

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