MINNEAPOLIS — Supervalu on Tuesday reported first-quarter fiscal 2012 net sales of $11.1 billion (down 3.7% versus last year) and net earnings of $74 million (up 10.4%), or 35 cents per diluted share. Posted net earnings beat the analyst consensus of 33 cents per diluted share.
“First-quarter results reflect the progress we are making on our ‘8 Plays to Win’ strategy, and we remain on track to deliver our fiscal 2012 guidance,” Supervalu CEO and president Craig Herkert said. “A hyper-local focus [is being implemented] to help us meet the needs of today’s consumers, while reducing shrink and improving our operations.”
Those “8 Plays to Win” strategies include simplifying operations and logistics to make it easier for Supervalu to operate as one company; improving the shopper experience through more-consistent value pricing; a focus on fresh, localized merchandising and hassle-free shopping; and committing to the growth of the Save-A-Lot banner and the number of independents utilizing Supervalu’s supply chain services.
“Bottom line here is that results were better than low expectations, especially after Safeway's disappointing quarter,” Credit Suisse research analyst Ed Kelly said prior to Supervalu’s conference call held this morning. "That being said, Supervalu's fundamentals remain extremely challenging. … Cost control is encouraging and saving the company from much weaker bottom-line results, but Supervalu can’t cost-cut its way to prosperity.”