If you have stepped into a Fry's in Arizona, a Dillon's in Kansas, a Fred Meyer's in Oregon, a Ralph's in California, a King Sooper's in Denver or a Harris Teeter's in North Carolina, you are a Kroger shopper. Kroger owns almost 30 different retail names ranging in size from the equivalent of Walmart (WMT) Supercenters to convenience stores with gas such as Turkey Hill Minit Markets, Kwik Shop and Loaf 'N Jug.
Read More: Warren Buffett’s Top 10 Dividend Stocks
If you bought Costco (COST) shares 10 years ago your investment is up over 200%. If you had bought Kroger instead, you've also more than tripled your money. Kroger's five-year performance exceeds Costco's, and so far this year it's no contest -- Kroger is up 30%, while Costco is up 5.8%.
Shares of Cincinnati-based Kroger were trading at $51.30 on Thursday morning, down 1.1%, after the company reported that its earnings for its fiscal second quarter ended on Aug. 16 rose 9.5% to $347 million on an 11.6% increase in sales to $25.3 billion. Some of the sales growth came from Kroger's acquisition of Harris Teeter in January.
The company also raised its same-stores sales growth estimate for its fiscal 2014 ending in February to a range of 3.5% to 4.25%. Its previous estimate was for growth of 3% to 4%. It also edged up its profit forecast for the year to earnings of $3.22 to $3.38 per share, from its previous estimate of $3.19 to $3.27.