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CORPORATE EARNINGS

Southwest Airlines Co. nearly tripled its first-quarter earnings -- making it one of the few profitable U.S. carriers despite intense competition and high oil prices. Southwest said it earned $76 million, or 9 cents a share, in the January-March period, up from $26 million, or 3 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 12 percent to $1.66 billion.

Charles Schwab Corp.'s first-quarter profit dropped 10 percent, dragged down by restructuring costs and price cuts that trimmed the discount stock brokerage's revenue. The brokerage said it earned $145 million, or 11 cents per share, in the three months ended in March. That compared with $161 million, or 12 cents per share, at the same time last year. Revenue for the quarter totaled $1.06 billion, 4 percent below $1.11 billion a year ago.

Gannett Co., the newspaper company that owns WGRZ-TV in Buffalo, said first-quarter net income fell 3.2 percent because of a decline in revenue at the company's 21 television stations. Net income was $265.7 million, or $1.05 a share, compared with $274.4 million, or $1 a share in the year-earlier period. Sales rose 3.6 percent to $1.79 billion.

Dave & Buster's Inc., which plans to open one of its upscale restaurant/entertainment complexes in the Eastern Hills Mall in August, said its fourth-quarter profit rose only 3 percent following winter storms and accounting compliance costs. The company said its quarterly income was $7.2 million, or 46 cents per share, compared with $7 million, or 46 cents per share, a year ago. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization rose 13.9 percent to $23 million from $20.2 million a year earlier. Revenue rose to $121.4 million from $100 million a year ago.

PepsiCo Inc., the snack food and soft drink company, said first-quarter earnings rose 13 percent, led by strong profit growth in its international operations. It reported earnings of $912 million, or 53 cents per share, for the three months ended March 19, up from $804 million, or 46 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Revenue for the quarter rose 7 percent to $6.59 billion from $6.13 billion a year ago.

Apple Computer said its second-quarter profit jumped more than sixfold as its iPod music players continued to dominate the market. For the three months ended March 26, Apple's profit jumped to $290 million, or 34 cents per share, from $46 million, or 6 cents per share, a year earlier. Excluding certain unusual items, the computer maker said it would have earned $299 million, or 35 cents per share. Revenue surged 70 percent to $3.24 billion from $1.91 billion.

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