Revenue for the quarter ended May 22 registered $41.3 billion, down slightly from $41.55 billion a year ago, when grocery sales surged in the early days of the pandemic. The FactSet analyst consensus called for sales of $39.67 billion in the latest quarter.
Profit totaled $140 million, or 18 cents a share, in the latest quarter, compared to $1.21 billion, or $1.52 a share, last year. Adjusted profit hit $1.19 a share, down from $1.22 a year earlier, but above the analyst consensus of $1.01.
Kroger also increased its earnings guidance for 2021 to between $2.95 and $3.10 a share, versus a prior range of $2.75 to $2.95.
The stock recently traded at $37.29, down 0.7%, and has climbed 21% over the past six months compared to a 14% rise in the S&P 500.
"Kroger's strong execution delivered identical sales results in the first quarter that exceeded our original expectations,” said Chief Executive Rodney McMullen. “Customers are responding to the investments we have made in digital, as evidenced by our triple-digit growth in digital sales since the beginning of 2019.”
McMullen added that “we are raising our guidance based on the strength of our results and we remain confident in our ability to deliver consistently attractive total shareholder return."
Last month, Kroger and Drone Express announced they have partnered to test a grocery-delivery service using autonomous drones.
The service will allow for “bundled product offerings ideal for meeting customer needs within the current weight limits for drone delivery," about five pounds or less than 2.5 kilograms, the companies said in a statement.