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Corporate earnings

Tyco International Ltd., the conglomerate that plans to break itself into three parts, reported that first-quarter profit plummeted 22 percent as it recorded a loss on asset sales and problems in its health care sector. The company best known for its ADT home alarm systems said it earned $570 million, or 28 cents per share, in the period ending Dec. 30, down from $730 million, or 34 cents per share, a year earlier. The latest results included a $237 million loss from discontinued operations on the sale of its plastics, adhesives and other businesses, as well as 2 cents per share from stock option expensing. Earnings from continuing operations were $807 million, or 39 cents per share. Revenue rose 1 percent to $9.71 billion from $9.6 billion a year earlier.

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Avon Products Inc., the world's largest direct seller of cosmetics, said fourth-quarter earnings tumbled 37 percent as the company cut retail prices and spent more money to restructure the business. Avon's earnings fell to $183.2 million, or 40 cents per share, from a year-ago profit of $288.8 million, or 61 cents per share. Revenue rose to $2.4 billion, up 4 percent from $2.31 billion.

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CVS Corp., the nation's biggest drugstore chain by store count, said its fourth-quarter profit rose 60 percent on strong same-store sales. Net income grew to $402.8 million, or 48 cents per share, from $251.8 million, or 30 cents per share, a year ago. Results include a benefit of 7 cents per share from the reversal of an income tax provision and a litigation settlement. Revenue rose 9 percent to $9.73 billion from $8.92 billion in 2004 as same-store sales for the quarter rose 6.7 percent. Pharmacy same-store sales rose 6.3 percent, and front-end same-store sales increased 7.7 percent.

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