Lower fuel prices are putting a dent in supermarket giant
profit. But the company's value message is still resonating with shoppers, resulting in a 12% jump in earnings in the first quarter.
The news sent shares up 2% to $22.25 in pre-market trading -- and then slipped on the open, dropping to more than a 1% loss, to $21.53.
Profit during the quarter reached $435.1 million, or 66 cents a share, compared with $386 million, or 58 cents, in the year-ago period. Analysts expected earnings of 62 cents a share.
Sales, including fuel, declined to $22.8 billion from $23.1 billion, while same-store sales, excluding fuel, rose 3.1%.
The company reaffirmed its full-year forecast in the range of $2.00 to $2.05 a share.
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