NEW YORK (
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.
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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