A&P Falls After Profit Report

The company's shares are down nearly 10% following the release of its first-quarter numbers.
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posted a first-quarter profit as a result of gains from discontinued operations, while sales ticked higher from the same period a year ago.

Sales for the first quarter totaled $3.2 billion, up from $3.1 billion in the same quarter last year. Same-store sales fell 0.1% from a year ago.

The supermarket chain earned $20.3 million, or 52 cents a share, compared with $1.9 million, or 5 cents a share, in 2002. During the first quarter, the company classified three businesses as discontinued operations.

Excluding discontinued operations, the company would have lost 53 cents a share in the quarter, compared with ongoing operating earnings of 11 cents a share last year.

Shares of A&P were recently falling 96 cents, or nearly 10%, to $9 on the

New York Stock Exchange