Kroger Shares Slip On Weak Guidance

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Kroger Co. shares fell 3.3% in Thursday premarket trading after the grocer provided weak fiscal 2017 guidance. Net income was $391.0 million, or 41 cents per share, down from $428.0 million, or 43 cents per share, for the same period last year. The FactSet consensus was for EPS of 41 cents. Sales for the quarter totaled $26.6 billion, up from $25.1 billion last year and beating the $26.3 billion FactSet consensus. Same-store sales for the quarter rose 0.1% without fuel, below the FactSet expectation of a 0.5% rise. Kroger narrowed its guidance for fiscal 2016 to $2.03 to $2.06 per share from $2.03 to $2.13 previously. Adjusted EPS is expected to be $2.10 to $2.15 versus a previous adjusted range of $2.10 to $2.20. The FactSet consensus is $2.13. Fourth-quarter same-store sales are expected to be slightly positive. The company expects fiscal 2017 same-store sales to be positive, but EPS is expected to be below the low end of the company's 8% to 11% long-term growth rate guidance. Kroger shares are down 22.8% for theear so far while the S&P 500 index is up 7.6% for 2016 to date.

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