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Safeway Swings to Loss on Charges

Safeway swings to a fourth-quarter loss due to goodwill charges.






swung to a loss in its fourth quarter, driven down by a hefty goodwill charge.

During the quarter, Safewayrecorded a loss of $1.61 million, or $4.06 a share, compared with a profit of $338 million, or 79 cents, for the grocer in the year-ago period.

Excluding a non-cash goodwill impairment charge, income for Safeway would have been 53 cents a share, in-line with analysts' estimates.

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Sales fell 8% to $12.69 billion from $13.82 billion last year, while Safeway's same-store sales dropped 4.1%.

Safeway repurchased 19.4 million shares for $443.1 million during the quarter, with $1.3 billion remaining for repurchases through the end of the year.

The company said it will release earnings guidance during its conference call.

-- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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