Kroger exceeded analyst expectations for revenue and net earnings in the second quarter of fiscal 2021, and raised full-year guidance.
The grocery giant reported total company sales of $31.7 billion in the second quarter, compared to $30.5 billion for the same period the previous year. Excluding fuel, sales decreased 0.4% compared to the same period in 2021.
Although net earnings declined on a year-over-year basis, they still came out ahead of Wall Street projections. Kroger reported second-quarter profits of $467 million, or $0.61 per share, down 43% compared to $819 million, or $1.03 per share, in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted earnings per share were $0.80, up 9% from $0.73 a year earlier.
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Kroger adjusted its full-year guidance based on its second-quarter results. The company now expects its two-year identical sales stack to be in the range of 12.6% to 13.1%, and year-over-year identical sales to decline 1-1.5%. Kroger expects its adjusted net earnings per diluted share to be in the range of $3.25 to $3.35.
"Our strategic focus on leading with fresh and accelerating with digital continues to build momentum across our business,” said Kroger chairman and CEO Rodney McMullen. “Kroger's seamless ecosystem is working. This was evident during the quarter as we saw customers seamlessly shift between channels, and we continued to see strong digital engagement. Customers are eating more food at home because it is more affordable, convenient, and healthier than other options.
"Our associates continue to support our customers and our communities through the pandemic by delivering a full, fresh, and friendly experience every day, McMullen said. “We are committed to our environmental, social, and governance strategy to advance positive outcomes for people and our planet and create more resilient global systems, driven by our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social and environmental impact plan. We are leveraging technology, innovation, and our competitive moats to deliver against the initiatives outlined at our 2021 investor day, and we remain confident in our ability to deliver total shareholder returns of 8% to 11% over time."
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"Kroger's strong execution resulted in identical sales above our internal expectations for the second quarter, and we continued to remove costs from the business,” said Kroger CFO Gary Millerchip. “Driven by the momentum in our results and sustained food at home trends, we are raising our full-year guidance. We are emerging stronger through the pandemic and are confident in our ability to deliver sustainable earnings growth and total shareholder return."
This story originally appeared on Chain Store Age.