Supervalu Spikes Despite Earnings Plunge

Supervalu posts a 30% plunge in quarterly earnings, but investors don't seem to mind, as shares spike in morning trading.
Publish date:



) --



isn't reaping the benefits of shoppers dining at home, as it loses cash-strapped consumers to discounters and wholesalers.

The grocer posted a 30% plunge in second-quarter profit and cut its full-year outlook, but shares still jumped 8% to $15.13 in morning trading.

During the quarter, the company earned $113 million, or 53 cents per share, compared with $162 million, or 76 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding store closing costs, profit was 55 cents per share, beating analysts' expectations of 53 cents.

Supervalu had already warned investors in June that tough competition from the likes of

Wal-Mart Stores

(WMT) - Get Report


Costco Wholesale

(COST) - Get Report

would take a toll on its earnings.

Sales slipped 5% to $12.72 billion from $13.35 billion, despite efforts to cut prices and spend more on promotions.

In the company's previous fourth quarter, management had said that it planned to change its brand lineup, improve its pricing and increase promotions to deliver better results for shoppers and investors.

Not expecting consumers to open their wallets any time soon, Supervalu cited its full-year outlook to $2.01 to $2.21 a share, from its prior forecast in the range of $2.50 to $2.65 a share.

On Tuesday the company also announced that it plans to sell the majority of its Albertsons stores in Utah to Associated Food Stores, which will result in a gain of about $150 million.

--Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

Copyright 2009 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.