Kroger Shares Rise After Profit, Outlook Top Estimates

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Kroger Co. shares rose 4.3% in premarket trading on Thursday after the supermarket chain's fourth-quarter profit and full-year outlook exceeded Wall Street estimates. Profit in the most recent quarter rose to $518 million, or $1.04 a share, from $422 million, or 81 cents, a year earlier. Sales rose to $25.2 billion from $23.2 billion. The company was expected to earn 90 cents a share on sales of $25.18 billion, according to FactSet. Identical supermarket sales, excluding the impact of fuel sales, rose 6%. Kroger forecast 2015 per-share profit of $3.80 to $3.90. It projected comparable supermarket sales, excluding gas sales impact, to rise 3% to 4%. The per-share profit outlook topped the $3.72 average estimate of analysts surveyed by FactSet.

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