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Thursday A.M. Report

Strong Q1 lifts Christopher & Banks shares; Xcel switches on hybrid solar-coal power plant; and Simple Sandwich in Minneapolis automates sandwich ordering

Strong Q1 lifts Christopher & Banks shares: Christopher & Banks Corp. earnings per share beat analysts estimates by a nickle as the company managed its expenses and was able to sell more goods at full prices during the first quarter of its fiscal 2011, which ended May 29. Plymouth-based Christopher & Banks said net income was $6.3 million, or 18 cents per share, up sharply from $1.7 million, or 5 cents per share in the same quarter last year. Read full story

Xcel switches on hybrid solar-coal power plant: Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy Inc. has started operating an experimental Colorado power plant, called Cameo, which uses both solar power and coal to produce electricity. The Colorado Public Utilities Commission approved the Grand Junction-area project, estimated to cost about $4.5 million, in May 2009, and it broke ground last August. Read full story

Simple Sandwich in Minneapolis automates sandwich ordering: A new restaurant called The Simple Sandwich opened this week on the skyway level at Fifth Street Towers in downtown Minneapolis, featuring a self-serve ordering process aimed at providing faster service during peak hours. Simple Sandwich features a variety of sandwiches, soups and salads, as well as sides like kettle chips, fruit, brownies and cookies. Customers can choose from a variety of breads, meats and toppings. Read full story