Kroger Co. shares rose 0.3% in Thursday premarket trading after the grocer reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat expectations. Net income was $506.0 million, or 53 cents per share, down from $559.0 million, or 57 cents per share, for the same period last year. The FactSet consensus was 52 cents. Sales for the quarter totaled $27.6 billion, up from $26.2 billion last year and ahead of the $27.3 billion FactSet consensus. Same-store sales fell 0.7%, below the 0.1% increase FactSet forecast. Sales and same-store sales figures exclude fuel. Kroger sees 2017 same-store sales, excluding fuel to range from flat to up 1%. The company expects EPS to range from $2.21 to $2.25. The FactSet consensus is $2.23. Kroger shares are down 21.1% for the past year while the S&P 500 index is up 20.6% for the period.
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