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Albertsons Tops Q3 Profit Forecasts, Boosts 2020 Outlook On Pandemic-Driven Food Sales

Albertsons said it sees full-year earnings of around $4.5 billion after posting better-than-expected December quarter profits thanks in part to pandemic stockpiling.

Albertsons Companies  (ACI) - Get Albertsons Companies, Inc. Class A Report posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings Tuesday, and improved its full-year profit outlook, as digital and pandemic-driven sales boosted the grocery retailers top and bottom lines.

Albertsons said adjusted earnings for the three months ending on December 5, the company's fiscal third quarter, came in at 66 cents per share, up 175% from the same period last year and well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of 42 cents per share.

Group revenues, Albertsons said, rose 9.2% to $15.4 billion, again topping analysts' estimates of a $15.37 billion tally. Same-store sales rose 12.3%, the retailer said, while digital sales surged 225%.

"Our constant focus on our customers continued to drive strong growth and market share gains in the third quarter," said CEO Vivek Sankaran. "It is clear that our strategy is working, and as we continue to execute on our strategic priorities, we believe we are well positioned to deliver sustainable growth over the long term."

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"At the same time, we remain focused on delivering value to all stakeholders, including taking care of our customers, associates and the communities we serve as we continue to navigate through the pandemic," Sankaran added.  

Albertsons shares were marked 2.1% higher in early trading following the earnings release to change hands at $17.10 each, a move that would extend the stock's six-month gain to around 24%.

Looking into the final months of its fiscal year, Albertsons said it sees 2020 adjusted earnings in the range of $3.05 to $3.15 per share from a prior estimate of $2.75 to $2.85 per share. That would put the headline earnings figure at around $4.4 billion to $4.5 billion.