Supervalu Inc. (NYSE: SVU) may be the third largest supermarket chain operator in America, but this one has been down and out before this fresh earnings report. Shares are surging on better than expected earnings and on a surprisingly strong guidance.
The company reported a loss of $424 million or $2.00 per share, but that is after asset impairment charges and layoff and restructuring costs. Supervalu would have earned $0.38 EPS outside of items. That is down from $0.44 EPS a year earlier but well above the consensus target from Thomson Reuters of $0.35 EPS. Revenue was down by 5% to $8.23 billion, and that was slightly under the Thomson Reuters consensus target of $8.31 billion.
Guidance is where SuperValu’s story gets interesting. The company forecast annual earnings to be in a range of $1.27 to $1.42 EPS outside of items against a backdrop of $1.19 per share expected from Thomson Reuters. With a $5.32 closing price on Monday, the case for value is strong in an obvious turnaround. The 52-week trading range is $5.07 to $11.77 and shares recently put in a multi-decade low after having been above $45 briefly almost ten years ago.
It is without surprise that today’s report has shares indicated up over 16% at $6.18.
JON C. OGG