Kroger (KR) revealed stronger-than-expected third-quarter profits and sales on Monday and lifted its full-year earnings forecast.

The Cincinnati-based supermarket operator reported net earnings of $316.5 million, or 61 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier $195.9 million, or 33 cents.

Excluding a positive settlement with Visa (V) and MasterCard (MA), Kroger earned 46 cents, topping average analyst estimates of 43 cents in a Thomson Reuters poll.

Revenue for the three-month period ended Nov. 3 was $21.8 billion, up from $20.6 billion a year ago, beating the Street’s view of $21.65 billion.

Same-store supermarket sales growth grew 3.2%, marking the company’s 36th consecutive quarter of positive growth at stores open longer than a year.

“This quarter illustrates that the strength of our core business positions Kroger to accelerate our earnings per share growth,” Kroger CEO David Dillon said in a statement.

The company raised its fiscal 2012 adjusted earnings outlook to a range of $2.44 to $2.46 from an earlier $2.35 to $2.42 on same-store supermarket growth of 3% to 3.5%.

Shares of Kroger ticked up more than 4.5% premarket to $26.19.

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