Kroger Co.'s stock ran up 3% in premarket trade Thursday, after the grocery store chain reported fiscal a first-quarter profit that rose above expectations, which helped offset a sales miss. For the quarter ended in April, earnings rose to $680 million, or 70 cents a share, from $619 million, or 62 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. The FactSet consensus for earnings per share was 69 cents. Revenue increased to $34.6 billion from $33.1 billion, but missed the FactSet consensus of $34.9 billion. For fiscal 2016, the company expects EPS to be at the low end to midpoint of its previously-provided expected range of $2.19 to $2.28, compared with the FactSet consensus of $2.23. "We are very pleased with a solid quarter during which we continued to strengthen our connection with customers and expand our ClickList offering to more customers in more markets," said Chief Executive Rodney McMullen. The stock has slumped 15% year to date through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 1.4%.
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