Business

Kroger (KR) earnings for Q3 2022

The headquarters of the Kroger supermarket chain is shown in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Lisa Bertlein | Reuters

kroger Thursday raised its forecast for the year after stronger third-quarter sales beat Wall Street’s expectations and inflation continued to drive up the prices buyers pay for milk, eggs and other products.

Shares rose about 3% in premarket trading.

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Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen said the company attracts customers by offering value. In a press release, he said it “resonates with shoppers and drives customer loyalty” through its private label product brands, affordable fresh produce, data-driven promotions, and a fuel rewards program.

Here’s what Kroger reported for the three-month period ending Nov. 5, compared to Refinitiv’s consensus estimates:

  • Earnings per share: 88 cents adjusted against expected 82 cents
  • Income: $34.2 billion vs. expected $33.96 billion

Grocery has been a strong driver of retail sales as inflation hovers around a four-year high. As some shoppers skip high-value items or abandon rash purchases, food and necessities retailers are attracting a more steady stream of customers.

walmart, the country’s largest grocer by revenue, also raised its full-year outlook after reporting strong third-quarter results. A major retailer said its inexpensive products have attracted more shoppers, including a growing number of families with annual incomes of more than $100,000 a year.

At Kroger, similar sales rose 6.9%, excluding fuel, in the third quarter. The industry indicator includes sales in supermarkets that have been operating continuously for at least 15 months.

The operator of Ralphs, Fred Meyer and other supermarket chains now expects the figure to rise by 5.1% to 5.3% for the year. Earlier, he predicted growth from 4% to 4.5%.

Third-quarter net income fell to $398 million, or 55 cents a share, from $483 million, or 64 cents a share, a year earlier.

Kroger now expects full-year adjusted net income to be between $4.05 and $4.15. He previously expected $3.95 to $4.05.

Kroger announced in October that it plans to buy its competitor, Albertsons, in a $24.6 billion deal. The purchase, if approved, will combine the second and fourth largest grocers in the country by revenue, according to Numerator, a market researcher.

Kroger faced opposition to the deal from elected officials and even its own employees, who said it would hurt competition. Earlier this week, McMullen testified before anti-merger senators at a congressional hearing. He argued that the combined company would lower food prices and improve the customer experience as Kroger competes with grocery giant Walmart and new industry players like Amazon.

As of Wednesday’s close, Kroger stock is up about 9% this year. Shares closed Wednesday at $49.19, down less than 1%. Its market value is $35.21 billion.

This story is evolving. Please stay tuned for updates.


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