Kroger Earnings Beat Estimates As Company Raises Guidance, Shares Tepid (KR)
Grocer Kroger (NYSE: KR) reported record first quarter results Thursday before the open that beat analyst forecasts. Shares were tepid on the news as the company raised guidance to just near analyst expectations for the full year.
Record First Quarter
For the fiscal first quarter of 2013, Kroger reported earnings per share of $0.92 vs. the consensus estimate of $0.88, beating by 4.55 percent. Earnings per share grew a strong 9.5 percent from the same period a year ago.
Revenue in the quarter was slightly weak as Kroger reported revenue of $30.04 billion vs. the consensus forecast of $30.2 billion, missing by a mere 0.53 percent. Revenue grew a solid 3.37 percent from the first quarter a year ago.
"Kroger achieved strong sales and record earnings per share for the quarter, and our customers' positive view of us continues to improve," said David B. Dillon, Kroger's chairman and chief executive officer. "This is because of our continued focus on the Customer 1st strategy. Our first quarter results give us the confidence to raise our guidance for the year."
Fiscal 2013 Guidance
Kroger raised full year guidance this morning as well. For the full fiscal year 2013, Kroger now expects to earn between $2.73 and $2.80 per share vs. the prior estimate of $2.71 to $2.79 per share. Wall Street analysts expect Kroger to earn $2.77 per share in the fiscal year.
Kroger also reiterated sales guidance and expects identical supermarket sales growth, excluding fuel, of approximately 2.5% to 3.5% for fiscal year 2013. "The Kroger team's relentless focus on delivering on our Customer 1st strategy, quarter after quarter, continues to set us apart," Mr. Dillon said. "We will continue to build on this strong momentum to drive growth and greater shareholder value."
Kroger shares floated around break-even in pre-market trade just ahead of the open. Shares are just off of the 52-week high.
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