Earnings roundup: Toll Brothers, PetSmart

Among the earnings stories for Wednesday, March 4, from AP Financial News:

UNDATED (AP) ¿ Toll Brothers Inc., the nation's largest builder of luxury homes, reported on Wednesday it cut its loss in the fiscal first quarter by slashing expenses, but saw sales drop by half despite creative incentives for buyers.

PHOENIX, Ariz. (AP) ¿ Pet supplies retailer PetSmart Inc. said Wednesday its profit edged up 4 percent in the fiscal fourth quarter as both merchandise and service sales increased.

NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Weight Watchers International Inc. said Wednesday fiscal fourth-quarter profit rose, boosted by a one-time benefit.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) ¿ Shoppers looking to warehouse clubs for deals on groceries buoyed food sales at Costco Wholesale Corp. and BJ's Wholesale Club Inc., but both companies said Wednesday that sales of other items kept sliding in the downturn.

NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Liz Claiborne Inc. predicted Wednesday that it will keep losing money in the first half of the year as it confronts a severe pullback in consumer spending. The downbeat outlook sent shares down more than 11 percent, even though its fourth-quarter adjusted losses were smaller than analysts expected.

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) ¿ BJ's Wholesale Club Inc. reported a 5 percent increase in fourth-quarter profit Wednesday as shoppers worried about the economy turned to its membership clubs for deals. The company's shares rose more than 7 percent.

ATLANTA (AP) ¿ EMS Technologies Inc., which makes wireless communications technology, said Wednesday its fourth-quarter profit fell 4.2 percent, as higher costs offset a sales increase.

STUDIO CITY, Calif. (AP) ¿ Crown Media Holdings Inc., owner of the Hallmark Channel, on Wednesday posted a fourth-quarter profit as higher subscriber revenue and lower costs helped the company reverse a year-ago loss.

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