Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) reported its fiscal third-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Thursday. The company said that it had $0.44 in earnings per share (EPS) and $27.75 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters of $0.40 in EPS and revenue of $27.46 billion. In the same period of last year, the retailer posted EPS of $0.41 and $26.56 billion in revenue.
During the quarter, total sales increased 4.5% year over year, but excluding fuel total sales increased 3.0% compared to last year.
Kroger also notched 1.1% in identical supermarket sales growth, without fuel, for the third quarter.
In terms of guidance for the fiscal 2017 full year, management expects to see EPS in the range of $2.00 to $2.05, as well as identical supermarket sales growth exceeding 1.1%. The consensus estimates call for $1.97 in EPS and $121.8 billion in revenue for the year.
On the books, Kroger’s cash and temporary investments totaled $352 million at the end of the quarter, down from $374 million in the same period from last year.
Rodney McMullen, board chair and chief executive, commented:
The holidays are always Kroger’s time to shine. In fact, we had our best ever Black Friday results for general merchandise, led by record sales at Fred Meyer. Everything we are doing revolves around our associates providing friendly service and fresh products to our customers.
This quarter shows that by investing for the future, our business continues to improve and gain momentum. We remain confident in our ability to continue to grow identical supermarket store sales and market share for the balance of the year and in 2018.
Shares of Kroger closed Wednesday at $24.38, with a consensus analyst price target of $23.23 and a 52-week range of $19.69 to $36.44. Following the announcement, the stock was up about 10% at $26.80 in early trading indications Thursday.