(Sept. 9) NEW YORK — Pathmark Stores Inc., a 100-store supermarket chain that operates in the Northeast, reported a higher second-quarter profit, thanks in part to a gain connected to the sale of real estate.

Carteret, N.J.-based Pathmark, which has stores primarily in the New York-New Jersey and Philadelphia markets, said earnings in the quarter ending Aug. 2 were $6.2 million, or 21 cents per share.

A year earlier, the company reported earnings of $3.5 million, or 11 cents a share. Quarterly sales were $995.6 million, up 0.8% from the same point in 2002. Sales at stores open at least a year rose 0.6%.

Net results include a $7.2 million post-tax gain from the sale of real estate and a $1.8 million charge from a labor buyout program in some stores.

Second-quarter earnings, minus those gains, were $800,000, or 3 cents per share.

Pathmark officials say the company expects fiscal 2003 earnings to be within the upper-end range of its prior guidance of 52-62 cents a share.

The company also expects full-year same-store sales growth to be in the mid to upper end of its 0% to 1% range.

Pathmark shares were trading at $7.84 Sept. 8 on the Nasdaq stock market. The stock’s 52-week range was $2.61-12.75.