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Albertsons Falls After Swinging to Fourth-Quarter Loss

Adjusted earnings at Albertsons beat Wall Street's expectations.
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Albertsons  (ACI) - Get Albertsons Companies Inc. Class A Report was falling Monday after the grocery retailer swung to a fourth-quarter loss.

Shares of the Boise, Idaho company were down nearly 2% to $18.80.

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Albertsons reported a loss of $144.2 million or 37 cents a share, compared with net income of $67.8 million, or 12 cents a share, a year ago. 

The quarterly loss included a $449.4 million charge, net of tax, related to the company's combined pension plan.

Adjusted earnings came to 60 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting the company to report earnings of 51 cents a share.

Sales totaled $15.8 billion, compared with $15.4 billion a year ago. FactSet was calling for sales of $15.7 billion. The sales increase was driven largely by a 11.8% increase in identical, or same-store sales.

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The FactSet consensus was for same-store sales growth of 10.6%.

Identical sales also benefited from a 282% surge in digital sales, the company said. 

Albertsons said it expects to report net income in the next fiscal year in the range of $1.95 a share to $2.05 a share, while analysts are calling for earnings of $1.86 a share.

The company expects identical store sales for the current fiscal year falling between 6% and 7.5%. FactSet is calling for a same-store drop of 7.2%.

"We have made substantial progress against our strategic priorities, and are still in the early innings of our transformation journey," Vivek Sankaran, president and CEO, said in a statement. "Looking ahead, we remain committed to further strengthening our relationships with our customers, offering a superior shopping experience and generating value for all stakeholders."

Last month, Albertsons and Google  (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Report unveiled a multiyear partnership in which the two companies aim to make Albertsons stores more technologically savvy for the benefit of shoppers.

In January, Albertsons posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings that were boosted by digital and pandemic-driven sales.

The company went public last year.