CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Kroger posts record quarterly profit, sales miss view
(Corrects analysts' estimate to $30.2 billion in second paragraph)
By Atossa Araxia Abrahamian
June 20 (Reuters) - Kroger Co, the biggest U.S. supermarket operator, reported higher first-quarter profit on Thursday and raised its forecast for the year, citing strong sales.
Total sales, including fuel, increased 3.4 percent to $30 billion in the latest quarter, but missed analysts' estimates of $30.2 billion.
Net income rose to $481 million, or 92 cents per share, from $439 million, or 78 cents, a year earlier. Earnings per share hit a record for the first quarter and beat analysts' expectations of 88 cents by 4 cents.
A Planet Retail analyst expected Kroger, the Cincinnati-based company that also owns the Ralphs, Smith's and Food 4 Less chains, to outperform its competitors as well as large retailers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc and Target Corp that sell groceries and gain market share throughout the year.
Kroger shares fell 1.6 percent to $34.56 in early trading as the broader market slumped. On Wednesday, the stock hit a 52-week high of $35.63.
Total sales including fuel increased 3.8 percent in the same period last year.
Excluding fuel, identical-supermarket sales rose to $22.4 million from $21.7 million in 2012.
Identical-supermarket sales are a measure of a grocer's performance because they track stores that have remained open without expansion or relocation for five full quarters.
Kroger now expects an annual profit of $2.73 per share to $2.80 per share, up from an earlier forecast of $2.71 to $2.79. (Reporting By Atossa Araxia Abrahamian; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Jeffrey Benkoe)
Trending On Reuters
We are living longer but not creating financial plans to keep pace. Advisers give tips on how to make sure you don’t outlive your money. Video