Casey's General Stores Inc. reported earnings of $1.43 a share in its fiscal first quarter, which ended July 31, compared with year-ago earnings of $1.01 a share. "We are off to an excellent start of the fiscal year driven by strong sales throughout all categories," President and CEO Robert Myers said in a news release. "The gasoline category of our business is performing exceptionally well in both sales and margin." Casey's annual goal is to increase same-store gallons sold 1.5 percent with an average margin of 15 cents per gallon. For the first quarter, same-store gallons sold were up 3.2 percent with an average margin of 22.1 cents per gallon. Casey's reported gains in key operating categories: Grocery and other merchandise sales were up 6.1 percent with an average margin of 32.7 percent, and prepared food and fountain sales increased 11.9 percent, with an average margin of 61.8 percent. As of the end of the quarter, Casey's had opened four new stores and acquired three stores. The company also completed five replacement stores. Casey's has 31 new stores and 18 replacement stores under construction. It has written agreements to acquire an additional 19 stores.