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Q2 results make 99 Cents Only an attractive buy

BY Gail Hoffer

CITY OF COMMERCE, Calif. — The investment group that agreed to buy 99 Cents Only Stores for $1.6 billion must be pleased with the discounter’s second-quarter results.

99 Cents Only Stores reported total sales of $363 million for the second quarter, an increase of 8.8% over total sales of $333.6 million for the same quarter last year. Same-store sales for the quarter were up 6.7%. The number of same-store-sales transactions increased 4.7% and the average transaction size increased to $9.62 from $9.44, the company reported.

Eric Schiffer, CEO, commented, "We are pleased to report that we achieved 6.7% same-store sales growth in the second quarter, which was above our expected range of low single digit comparable sales. We believe these results underscore the strength of our business model. We have now raised our comparable sales expectations for the full year to mid-single digits."

During the second quarter of fiscal 2012, the company opened two stores in Southern California and one in Nevada. The gross and saleable retail square footage at the end of the second quarter each increased 3% over last year to 6.11 million and 4.8 million, respectively, based on 288 stores.

99 Cents Only Stores said in an earlier announcement that it has agreed to be acquired by a group of investors including its founding family, Ares Management and Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board for $1.6 billion in cash.

The announcement ends a months-long sales process, which started with a takeover offer from Leonard Green & Partners in March.

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FDA approves treatment for iron overload

BY Alaric DeArment

SILVER SPRING, Md. — The Food and Drug Adminsitration has approved a drug made by ApoPharma for a complication resulting from treatments for a genetic condition that causes anemia, the agency said Friday.

The FDA announced the approval of Ferriprox (deferiprone), used to treat patients with iron overload due to blood transfusions for thalassemia, a blood disorder. Patients with the disease have excess iron in their bodies because of the frequent blood transfusions they must receive that can lead to iron overload, a condition that can be fatal.

The standard treatment for iron overload is chelation therapy, which uses chemical agents to remove heavy metals from the body. Ferriprox, which the agency said is the first new approved treatment for the disorder since 2005, is intended for use when chelation therapy is inadequate.

 


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Endocrine Society releases recommendations for continuous glucose monitoring

BY Alaric DeArment

CHEVY CHASE, Md. — Patients with diabetes may benefit from a system that provides continuous, real-time glucose readings, according to new clinical practice guidelines released by the Endocrine Society.

While most patients with diabetes measure blood glucose by pricking their skin to get a drop of blood and then measuring it with a glucose meter, continuous glucose monitoring measures glucose in the interstitial fluid, the fluid between cells just under the skin.

"There are some caveats to consider before accepting continuous monitoring of glucose as a routine measure to improve glycemic control in diabetes," said David Klonoff, chairman of the task force that drafted the guidelines and a doctor at Mills-Peninsula Health Services in San Mateo, Calif. "There are still concerns about the high costs of CGM and the accuracy of the various systems available."

The new guidelines, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, recommend use of CGM in children and adolescents with Type 1 diabetes because it will help them maintain target blood sugar levels while reducing the risk of low blood sugar, and in adults with Type 1 diabetes who have shown they can use CGM devices on a daily basis. They also recommend refraining from using CGM alone for glucose management in hospital intensive care units and operating rooms.

 


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