Kroger stock pushes higher

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From Cincinnati Business Courier:

Kroger Co. beat analysts’ estimates by posting first-quarter earnings growth of 13 percent, lifting the stock in early trading.

But its same-store sales growth slowed for a second straight quarter and total sales missed analysts’ estimates.

Cincinnati-based Kroger (NYSE: KR), the nation’s largest operator of traditional supermarkets including Pick ‘n Save and Metro Markets in the Milwaukee area, earned 70 cents per share during the quarter, edging consensus analysts’ estimates of 69 cents. That beat its profits of 62 cents per share for the same quarter a year ago. Net income climbed 10 percent to $680 million. It reported results Thursday before the market opened.

Kroger stock rose 93 cents, or 2.6 percent, to $36.64 in the first half-hour of trading Thursday and is at $36.58 at midday. The stock had fallen 15 percent this year through Wednesday, when it closed at $35.71.

While Kroger posted its industry-leading 50th consecutive quarter of same-store sales growth, the increase of 2.4 percent was weaker than the 3.9 percent same-store sales growth it turned in for the fourth quarter. Sales growth at stores open at least a year also came in below Kroger’s full-year projection of 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent. But it reaffirmed that guidance Thursday.

Read more at Cincinnati Business Courier