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K MART'S 1ST-QUARTER EARNINGS DROP 22.1 PERCENT

K mart Corp., the nation's second-largest retailer, reported Monday its first-quarter earnings dropped 22.1 percent to $94.1 million, or 47 cents a share, from $120.8 million, or 60 cents a share, in the same period last year.

Sales in the first quarter rose 3.9 percent to $6.07 billion from $5.84 billion in the first quarter of 1988, K mart reported."These results were disappointing," said Joseph E. Antonini, K mart's chairman and chief executive officer. "The drop in earnings was the result of a sales shortfall from plan.

"Cooler-than-normal weather during March and the first two weeks of April adversely affected sales of outdoor patio goods and plants, both very important seasonal lines for K mart, and also hurt sales of our apparel lines."