Kroger 1Q profit jumps, topping forecasts


NEW YORK (AP) — Kroger Co. on Thursday reported a 9.8 percent rise in fiscal first-quarter profit on higher sales as it expanded its offerings and online ordering services.

Its shares rose almost 3 percent in morning trading.

The supermarket chain reported it earned $680 million, or 70 cents per share, beating Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 13 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 69 cents per share.

Its revenue rose 4.7 percent boost in revenue to $34.6 billion in the period. Eight analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $34.66 billion.

Excluding fuel sales, the company said revenue rose 7.8 percent.

Meanwhile, same-store sales rose just 0.4 percent. Excluding fuel centers, same-store sales rose 2.4 percent.

Kroger expects full-year earnings to be $2.19 to $2.28 per share.

The Cincinnati-based company bought fellow grocer Roundy’s for about $178 million last year, helping to expand in the Midwest. The company currently has 2,778 food stores under a range of brands, including Kroger, Ralphs, Fred Meyer, and King Soopers. It also operates 1,387 fuel centers.

Kroger shares have decreased 15 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has increased slightly more than 1 percent. The stock has risen 1.2 percent over the last 12 months.

Its shares rose $1.04, or 2.9 percent, to $36.75 in morning trading Thursday. Its shares have risen almost 2 percent over the past year.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on KR at http://www.zacks.com/ap/KR

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Keywords: Kroger, Earnings Report

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