* 3rd-qtr adj. EPS from cont. ops $0.13
* Sales fall 0.9 pct to $4.01 bln vs est $4.05 bln
* Save-A-Lot same-store sales rise 5.4 pct
* Shares up 1 percent premarket
Jan 9 Supervalu Inc's quarterly net
profit nearly doubled as the supermarket operator benefited from
cost savings after selling hundreds of underperforming grocery
stores last year.
Adjusted earnings from continuing operations for the company
that runs supermarkets including Cub, Farm Fresh, Shop 'N Save
and Save-A-Lot met analysts' expectations of 13 cents per share
in the third quarter ended Nov. 30.
Net income rose to $31 million, or 12 cents per share, from
$16 million, or 8 cents per share, a year earlier.
Gross margins expanded to 14.2 percent from 13.1 percent.
Revenue fell marginally to $4.01 billion, missing analysts'
average forecast of $4.05 billion, according to Thomson Reuters
Supervalu, like larger rival Safeway Inc, has been
battling market-share losses to rivals such as Kroger Co
and Wal-Mart Stores Inc and has abandoned some hotly
competitive regional markets to cut costs.
Sales at its biggest wholesale grocery distribution business
fell 3.7 percent to $1.91 billion, due to the loss of two large
clients coupled with weak demand from customers including the
military, the company said on Thursday.
Retail food business sales fell 2.6 percent to $1.06
billion, hurt by a 1.9 percent drop in identical-store sales.
Sales at its Save-A-Lot discount stores rose 2.6 percent,
however, as identical store-sales rose 1.7 percent.
Minnesota-based Supervalu shares, which have more than
doubled in value since the company announced the sale of 900
stores including its Albertsons chain about a year ago, were up
1 percent at $7.10 in premarket trading on Thursday.
(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale In Bangalore and Lisa Baertlein
in Los Angeles; Editing by Joyjeet Das)