Kroger beats earnings expectations and raises full-year guidance

Kroger Co. reported first-quarter net income of $664 million, or 90 cents per share, up from $140 million, or 18 cents per share, last year. Adjusted EPS of $1.45 beat the FactSet consensus for $1.29. Sales of $44.60 billion were up from $41.30 billion and also beat the FactSet consensus for $44.16 billion. Identical sales without fuel grew 4.1%, just ahead of the FactSet consensus for 4.0% growth. Kroger raised its full-year guidance, and now expects identical sales without fuel to grow 2.5% to 3.5% and adjusted EPS in the range of $3.85 to $3.95. The FactSet consensus is for identical sales growth of 3.2% and EPS of $3.84. Despite the beat, Kroger stock slid nearly 5% in Thursday premarket trading. The stock has rallied 12.4% for the year to date while the S&P 500 index is down 20.5%.

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