Supermarket operator Safeway Inc SWY.N reported a quarterly profit just above analysts' estimates despite rising competition from other grocery sellers, and its shares rose 5.5 percent in premarket trading on Thursday.
The operator of grocery stores including Safeway, Vons and Dominick's said second-quarter income from continuing operations was $121.7 million, or 50 cents per share, down from $146.0 million, or 41 cents per share, a year earlier. Safeway had nearly 32 percent fewer shares outstanding in the latest quarter.
Analysts, on average, were looking for a profit of 49 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Total sales rose 1.9 percent to $10.39 billion. Closely watched identical-store sales, excluding fuel, were up 0.8 percent, matching some analysts' estimates.
Shares of Safeway, the second-largest U.S. supermarket operator, jumped to $17.40 in premarket trading. They closed at $16.49 on Wednesday.
(Reporting By Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Maureen Bavdek)