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Weis reports strong Q2 earnings

BY Anna Mcgrath

SUNBURY, Pa. Weis Markets reported a net income spike of 18.5% in its second quarter, compared with the year-ago period.

During the 13-week period ending June 27, Weis reported a $15.2 million net income, compared with its $12.8 earnings for the same period a year ago. The company delivered a positive set of results during the second quarter with a 2% sales increase to $615.4 million, from $603.4 million in 2008.

“We made significant investments in our sales programs during the second quarter which helped drive the increases in our sales and net income,” said David J. Hepfinger, Weis Markets’ president and CEO. “In addition, our best of class private -abel program continues to generate strong sales, exceeding the national average, due to the depth and variety of our program and the value driven needs of our customers. Our second-quarter results were also positively impacted by the improved sales performance of our perishable departments, particularly in meat and the continued improvement in our store-level operating performance.”

For the 26-week period closing June 29, Weiss’ year-to-date net income increased 44.9% to $31.7 million, compared with $21.9 million a year ago.

Weiss also announced plans to acquire Binghamton-based Giant Markets. The acquisition is scheduled for completion August 23.

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Report: Card-check provision removed from Employee Free Choice Act

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK The New York Times on Friday reported that the “card-check provision” — which would have required employers to recognize a union as soon as a majority of workers signed cards saying they wanted a union as opposed to a secret-ballot election — has been removed from the Employee Free Choice Act in an effort to secure enough Democratic votes to avoid a filibuster.

It was a polarizing issue — the card-check provision was advocated by union organizations because it would have made it easier to unionize a workforce. In its place, several Senate and labor officials told the New York Times, the revised bill would require shorter unionization campaigns and faster elections — with elections to be held within two work-weeks after 30% of a workforce signed cards favoring unionization.

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Gilead enters partnership with Tibotec to develop HIV drug

BY Allison Cerra

FOSTER CITY, Calif. Gilead Sciences said it entered a partnership with Tibotec Pharmaceuticals to develop a single daily antiretroviral HIV pill.

The proposed drug would combine Gilead’s Truvada with a drug Tibotec is developing called TMC278, or rilpivirine. Terms were not disclosed, but Gilead said it would take the lead in manufacturing and testing the combined drug, working to get it approved by regulators, and selling it.

Gilead said the product would be the second complete antiretroviral treatment for HIV available in one pill. The first is Gilead’s Atripla, which combines three HIV drugs. The company said the combined pills make treatment simpler for patients.

Tibotec, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, would be responsible for developing rilpivirine as a standalone drug.

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