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Duane Reade


reported fourth-quarter earnings Tuesday that met Wall Street's expectations, but forecast 2001 first-quarter and full-year results that were below analysts' forecasts.

For its fourth quarter ending Dec. 30, Duane Reade earned $9.6 million, or 51 cents a share, up from $6.9 million, or 38 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Two analysts surveyed by

First Call/Thomson Financial

estimated the New York-based drugstore chain would earn 51 cents a share.

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Duane Reade posted fourth-quarter revenue of $287.3 million, up 25.1% from the same quarter a year ago. Same-store sales increased 7.5% from last year's fourth quarter.

The company said it expects to report first-quarter earnings of 12 cents to 14 cents a share, which falls short of the two-analyst consensus of 15 cents a share reported by First Call/Thomson Financial. The company's full-year earnings forecast of $1.48 and $1.52 a share also is below the consensus estimate of $1.58.

Duane Reade plans to open 25 new stores this year, the majority of which will be in the New York region.

On Feb. 16, the company's stock reached a 52-week high of $40 a share on the

New York Stock Exchange