Kroger Co. Earnings Meet Estimates, Company Raises Guidance

By Tonya GarciaMarketWatch Pulse

The Kroger Co. shares are up 3% in pre-market trading after it reported net income of $428 million, or 43 cents per share, in the third quarter, up from $362 million, or 36 cents per share, for the same period last year. That's above FactSet consensus of 39 cents per share. Sales totaled $25.1 billion for the third quarter, an increase of 0.4% year-over-year from $25.0 billion as a result of lower retail fuel prices. The FactSet consensus was $25.2 billion. Kroger raised its fiscal 2015 EPS guidance to a range of $2.02 and $2.04 from $1.92 to $1.98, exceeding the company's long-term EPS growth rate guidance of 8% to 11%. For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, Kroger expects same-store sales growth excluding fuel of 4% to 4.5%. Shares of Kroger are up 18.7% for the year so far. The S&P 500 is up 1% for the same period.

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