Kroger posts 3Q profit, results top Wall Street forecasts

Shares in Kroger jumped after the supermarket chain reported better-than-expected third quarter earnings, driven by improved sales.

Kroger said total sales increased 4.5 percent in the quarter, pushing its fiscal third-quarter earnings to $397 million, better than the $391 million for the same quarter last year.

And sales in supermarkets open at least 15 months rose 1.1 percent, excluding fuel sales. The metric — a key measure of a retailer’s health — strips out the impact of stores that have recently opened or closed. Kroger expects identical-supermarket sales growth excluding fuel to exceed 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter.

MORE: Kroger, Walmart fining suppliers for late deliveries

The results represent a mini-rebound for the company, which has seen profits suffer as it slashed prices to compete with Walmart and Target — as well as Amazon since its acquisition of Whole Foods — in an increasingly competitive landscape for grocers.

The Cincinnati-based company said it had profit of 44 cents per share, beating Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 11 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 40 cents per share. Kroger posted earnings of 41 cents per share in last year’s third quarter.

MORE: Kroger hiring for 14,000 seasonal, part-time jobs

Rodney McMullen, Kroger’s chairman and CEO, said Restock Kroger is off to a great start.

“Customers are recognizing our efforts to redefine the customer experience and rewarding us with their loyalty,” McMullen said. “We continue to accelerate our digital and ecommerce offerings, to grow Our Brands, to lower prices for customers, and to invest in our associates.”

McMullen said Kroger had its best ever Black Friday results for general merchandise, led by record sales at Fred Meyer, and that “everything we are doing revolves around our associates providing friendly service and fresh products to our customers.”

MORE: 5 ways to stay out of debt this holiday shopping season

“This quarter shows that by investing for the future, our business continues to improve and gain momentum,” he said. “We remain confident in our ability to continue to grow identical supermarket store sales and market share for the balance of the year and in 2018.”

Kroger still expects full-year adjusted earnings in the range of $2 to $2.05 per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet forecast $1.97 per share, on average.

The operator of Fred Meyer, Ralphs and Fry’s posted revenue of $27.74 billion in the period, also topping Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $27.31 billion. The company had revenue of $26.56 billion in last year’s third quarter.

Shares in Kroger Co. rose more than 8 percent in morning trading, but are still down about 17 percent in the past year.

Staff Writer Eric Schwartzberg contributed to this report.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in News

Amazon working on home robot, report says
Amazon working on home robot, report says Inc. may be gearing up for its next big project: a home robot. The rumor comes from a Bloomberg report published Monday in which sources familiar with the plan revealed that the company has started work on the domestic robot under the code name Vesta. >> Read more trending news  According to the sources, Vesta has...
Scattered showers return, wet roads expected for morning commute
Scattered showers return, wet roads expected for morning commute

Scattered showers today Wet roads for the morning commute Near normal temps this week TODAY: Scattered showers push back in this morning with wet roads for the morning commute, however, no major problems are expected. Breezy and mostly cloudy for the day as temperatures reach into the upper 50s, which is cooler than normal. Showers become...
Waffle House shooting: How police captured Travis Reinking
Waffle House shooting: How police captured Travis Reinking

Travis Reinking, the man suspected of killing four people during a shooting at a Waffle House outside Nashville, Tennessee, has been arrested. Reinking had been at the center of a statewide manhunt for 32 hours until he was caught Monday in the woods near his apartment.  Nashville police confirmed the 29-year-old was taken into...
Ohio included in ice pop recall list for possible listeria
Ohio included in ice pop recall list for possible listeria

A frozen novelty manufacturer is voluntarily recalling certain ice pops for possible listeria contamination, and Ohio is included in the list of 15 states.  According to US Recall News, Ziegenfelder Co., of Wheeling, W.Va., is recalling about 3,000 cases of Budget $aver Cherry Pineapple Monster Pops and Sugar Free Twin Pops because of the...
George H.W. Bush: 9 things to know about the 41st president of the United States
George H.W. Bush: 9 things to know about the 41st president of the United States

Former President George Herbert Walker Bush was hospitalized Sunday in Houston after an infection spread to his blood, just days after the death of his wife, Barbara. "He is responding to treatments and appears to be recovering," his spokesman, Jim McGrath, tweeted Monday. Here are nine things you should know about Bush, who served as...
More Stories