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BNSF, Amazon report earnings

From wire reports

A raft of companies reported earnings Tuesday.

Among them was Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp., the nation’s second-largest railroad operator, based in Fort Worth, Texas.

BNSF said its second-quarter profit increased 47 percent as freight revenue climbed 15 percent.

Net income grew to $366 million, or 96 cents per share, from $249 million, or 67 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Operating income rose to $710 million from $508 million last year.

Revenue increased 18 percent to $3.14 billion from $2.69 billion a year ago, as freight revenue rose to $3.04 billion from $2.64 billion last year.

• Seattle-based Inc. said its second-quarter profits sagged 32 percent from a year ago, despite brisk sales at home and abroad.

The Internet retailer said net income for the three months that ended June 30 was $52 million or 12 cents per share, down from $76 million, or 18 cents a share for the second quarter of 2004.

Sales were $1.75 billion, up 26 percent from $1.39 billion at the same point last year.

The results included a $56 million income tax expense and other one-time costs.

Safeway Inc.‘s second-quarter profits dropped 14 percent as the costs of an ambitious makeover offset an uptick in sales at the recuperating grocery chain.

The Pleasanton, Calif.-based company said Tuesday that it earned $134 million, or 30 cents per share, during the three months ending June 18, down from $155.2 million, or 35 cents per share, at the same time last year.

Revenue for the period totaled $8.8 billion, a 5 percent increase from $8.41 billion last year.

In a key measure of a merchant’s health, Safeway’s identical store sales improved by 1.4 percent from last year, excluding the revenue that the supermarket collects from the gasoline pumps now outside many of its 1,800 stores. The barometer tracks sales at stores that have been open at least a year and hadn’t been remodeled during that time.

Northwest Airlines Corp., which operates the nation’s fourth-largest airline, reported its second-quarter loss widened to $225 million and warned that it needs pension reform and labor cost cuts to stay out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

Chief Executive Doug Steenland said tighter bankruptcy laws that take effect Oct. 17 will be one factor in whether it files for bankruptcy protection, though he said it’s not a deadline.

Minneapolis-based Northwest lost $2.59 per share in the quarter ending June 30, versus a loss of $182 million, or $2.11 per share, a year ago. Excluding $54 million worth of unusual items, the Eagan-based airline would have lost $279 million, or $3.21 per share.

Northwest reported that revenue rose to $3.2 billion from $2.87 billion a year earlier.

Lockheed Martin Corp.’s second-quarter earnings leapt 56 percent, as the defense contractor best-known for its fighter jets showed how it has swiftly adapted to supply a transforming military that fights fewer dogfights but hungers for high-tech gear to find and fight today’s elusive enemies.

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