Kroger Co. Q2 Profit Beats Estimates, Raises 2021 Guidance

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The Kroger Co. (KR) reported an increase in adjusted profit for the second-quarter that also topped Wall Street estimates. Excluding fuel, sales decreased 0.4% year-on-year. For fiscal 2021, Kroger Co. projects adjusted identical sales to decline in a range of 1.5% to 1.0%. The company remains confident in its ability to deliver total shareholder returns of 8% to 11% over time.

Second-quarter adjusted earnings per share increased to $0.80 from $0.73, a year ago. On average, 18 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $0.64, for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items. Adjusted FIFO operating profit increased to $947 million from $894 million.

FIFO gross margin rate, excluding fuel, declined 60 basis points from last year. The company said this decrease primarily related to continued price investments, and higher shrink and supply chain costs, partially offset by sourcing benefits and growth in the alternative profit business.

Net earnings attributable to Kroger Co. declined year-on-year to $467 million from $819 million, last year. Earnings per share was $0.61 compared to $1.03.

Second-quarter net sales increased to $31.68 billion from $30.49 billion, prior year. Analysts expected revenue of $30.68 billion, for the quarter.

For fiscal 2021, the company now projects two-year identical sales stack to be in the range of 12.6% to 13.1%. Kroger Co. expects adjusted net earnings per share to be in the range of $3.25 to $3.35. Analysts expect the company to report profit per share of $3.06. Previously, the company projected adjusted earnings per share in a range of $2.95 - $3.10.

Shares of Kroger Co. were down nearly 3% in pre-market trade on Friday.

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