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April 28 (Reuters) - Food distributor Sysco Corp (SYY.N) posted third-quarter earnings that beat market estimates as the strong performance of its Broadline segment helped offset sluggish restaurant sales and soaring food costs, sending its shares up 4 percent.
The company posted net income of $240.9 million, or 40 cents a share, for the 13-week period ended March 29, compared with $221 million, or 35 cents a share, a year earlier. Net sales rose about 7 percent to $9.15 billion.
Analysts on average expected earnings of 39 cents a share, excluding special items, on revenue of $9.21 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.
Sales at the company’s Broadline segment, which distributes food and non-food products to both traditional and chain restaurant customers, rose to $7.23 billion from $6.72 billion.
The company, which distributes food and other supplies to restaurants, cafeterias and other food-service outlets, expects 2008 capital expenditures in the range of $550 million to $575 million.
Shares of Sysco rose to $29.25 in trading before the bell Monday, after closing at $28.12 Friday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Swagata Gupta in Bangalore; Editing by Pratish Narayanan)