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Kroger Q1 Profit Tops View; Lifts FY Outlook

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Kroger Co. (KR) reported a profit for the first-quarter dropped 88.5 percent from last year. Quarterly sales declined 0.6 percent from previous year. Quarterly adjusted earnings per share topped analysts' expectations. The company raised its full year guidance.

Kroger's board has approved a $1 billion share repurchase program. The previous authorization expired last week.

The company now expects adjusted net earnings per share for fiscal year 2021 to be in the range of $2.95 to $3.10, compared to the prior outlook of $2.75 to $2.95 per share. Analysts expect annual earnings of $2.85 per share.

The company now expects 2021 adjusted identical sale to decline between 2.5 percent and 4 percent, while it had earlier projected a decline between 3 percent and 5 percent.

The company now expects two-year identical sales stack to be in the range of 10.1 percent to 11.6 percent.

Kroger's net earnings attributable to the company for the first-quarter dropped 88.5 percent to $140 million from $1.21 billion last year's with earnings per share declining to $0.18 from $1.52 in the previous year.

Net earnings attributable to the company, excluding certain adjustment items, was $918 million or $1.19 per share compared to $972 million or $1.22 per share in the prior year. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $1.01 per share for the first-quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

Total company sales for the first-quarter declined 0.6 percent to $41.30 billion from $41.55 billion for the same period last year. Excluding fuel, sales decreased 4.0 percent from the prior year. Analysts expected revenues of $39.78 billion for the first-quarter.

Identical sales without fuel decreased 4.1 percent compared to an increase of 19 percent in the prior year.

In Thursday pre-market trade, KR was trading at $37.60 up $0.05 or 0.13 percent.

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