Kroger Co.'s stock climbed 2% in premarket trade Thursday, after the supermarket chain reported profit and same-store sales that beat expectations, and raised its sales outlook for the year. For the quarter ended April, earnings increased to $619 million, or $1.25 a share, from $501 million, or 98 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. That beat the FactSet consensus for earnings per share of $1.22. Total sales rose to $33.05 billion from $32.96 billion, missing the FactSet consensus of $33.26 billion, but same-store sales growth of 5.7% was above expectations of a 4.2% rise. For the full fiscal year, Kroger affirmed its EPS outlook of $3.80 to $3.90, but raised its same-store sales forecast to a range of 3.5% to 4.5% from 3% to 4%. The stock has surged 14% year to date through Wednesday, outperforming the S&P 500's 2% gain.
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