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September 10, 2022 at 1:38 a.m.

Walmart liquor suit dismissed in Texas

A lawsuit brought by Walmart Inc. challenging a Texas law that's kept it from selling liquor in its stores has been dismissed at the retailer's request, a Walmart spokesman confirmed.

The Bentonville-based retailer has been fighting Texas on this issue since 2015.

Walmart sells beer and wine in Texas, but the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission doesn't allow publicly-traded retailers from outside the state to sell distilled spirits within the state.

Walmart's complaint, filed on June 29, 2021, in an Austin state district court, asked the court to rule as unconstitutional that section of the commission's code denying it a "package-store permit."

The retailer didn't say why it asked for dismissal. Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said the company "will continue to look for ways to serve our customers in Texas and conveniently provide them with the products they want."

A spokesman for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission said that agency had no comment on the case.

Walmart first sued the commission in federal court in 2015. A judge ruled in its favor, but an appeals court reversed that decision.

-- Serenah McKay

Kroger gives boost to profit forecast

Kroger Co. raised its annual forecast, citing strong demand for food prepared at home and a shift toward private-label goods.

Adjusted earnings in the current fiscal year will range as high as $4.05 a share, up from the previous forecast of no more than $3.95, Kroger said in a statement Friday. The profit measure rose to 90 cents a share in the fiscal second quarter, compared with the 82-cent average of analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

With inflation causing shoppers to spend less on nonessentials, Kroger is benefiting from customers preparing meals at home even as covid-19 restrictions are lifted. The Cincinnati-based grocer has sought to build on those gains by investing in more fresh food and digital offerings, while expanding its store-label products to appeal to budget-conscious consumers.

Kroger's comparable sales excluding fuel increased 5.8% during the three months ending in mid-August, topping the average analyst estimate of 4.3%. Gross margin, a broad measure of profitability, was 20.9%, the company said. Analysts had estimated 20.5%. Total sales rose about 9% to $34.6 billion. Analysts had predicted $34.4 billion. Excluding fuel, the revenue gain was 5.2%, Kroger said.

-- Bloomberg News (WPNS)

State index closes at 816.21, up 14.28

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Friday at 816.21, up 14.28.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

Print Headline: Walmart liquor suit dismissed in Texas


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