UPDATE 1-Couche-Tard profit misses as U.S. fuel gross margin shrinks

Mon Jul 7, 2014 10:35am EDT
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* Q4 adj. profit $0.22 vs est $0.25

* Q4 U.S. fuel gross margin falls 23 pct

* Shares down about 2 pct (Adds details, share movement)

July 7 (Reuters) - Canadian convenience store and gasoline station operator Alimentation Couche-Tard reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit, hurt by a fall in gross margin on U.S. fuel sales.

The company's shares fell as much as 2.7 percent in early trading on Monday.

Road transportation gross fuel margin in the United States fell more than 23 percent to 14.85 cents per gallon, offsetting the impact of higher same-store sales.

Couche-Tard, whose outlets include Mac's and Circle K, reported an adjusted profit of 22 cents per share, below analysts' expectations of 25 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue rose 2 percent to $8.95 billion, beating the average estimate of $8.64 billion.

Net income fell to $145.1 million, or 25 cents per share, in the quarter ended April 27, from $146.4 million, 26 cents per share, a year earlier.   Continued...