Kroger has better than expected Q3

Beets and raisins

Kroger, the largest supermarket operator in the U.S., reported better than expected Q3 results as easing food prices helped fuel higher sales volume. The company, which operates grocery chains such as Kroger, Ralphs, Smith's and Food 4 Less, reported net income of $316.5 million, or 60¢ per share, for the third quarter ended Nov. 3, compared with $195.9 million, or 33¢ per share, a year earlier.

Excluding benefits from a settlement with credit card companies and a reduction in its obligation to fund a union pension fund, Kroger earned 46¢ a share in the latest quarter. Total sales, including fuel, increased 5.9% to $21.81 billion, topping the average analyst estimate of $21.65 billion. Kroger raised its full-year outlook for earnings per share, excluding the two special items, to a range of $2.44 to $2.46. It had forecast $2.35 to $2.42.

Kroger (KR : NYSE : US$26.25), Net Change: 1.19, % Change: 4.75%, Volume: 13,418,335

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