Kroger Earnings Aren’t Enough to Balance Out Guidance

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Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) reported its fiscal first-quarter financial results before the markets opened on Thursday. The company said that it had $0.58 in earnings per share (EPS) and $36.28 billion in revenue, compared with consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters that called for $0.58 in EPS and revenue of $35.77 billion. In the same period of last year, the retailer posted EPS of $0.70 and $34.6 billion in revenue.

Total sales increased 4.9% in the quarter, while total sales, excluding fuel, increased 2.9%.

In terms of guidance for the full year, Kroger lowered its EPS estimate to a range of $2.00 to $2.05 from the previous range of $2.21 to $2.25. Consensus estimates are $2.19 in EPS and $121.24 billion in revenue for the fiscal year.

On the books, Kroger’s cash and temporary cash investments totaled $356 million at the end of the quarter, down from $391 million in the same period from last year.

Rodney McMullen, CEO of Kroger, commented:

We remain focused on our strategy. This will make a difference for our customers and create value for our shareholders. We are running the business with an eye toward where the customer is going. Customers tell us they want to connect with us in multiple ways with the help of friendly associates to easily provide meals to their families at prices that enable them to stretch their budgets. We are committed to providing that experience, and we will not lose on price.

Shares of Kroger tumbled more than 13% to $26.30 after Thursday’s opening bell, with a consensus analyst price target of $34.00 and a 52-week range of $28.29 to $37.97.