Profit Warning Sinks Winn-Dixie

The supermarket owner lowers its guidance for the fourth quarter.
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Winn-Dixie

(WIN) - Get Report

lowered its fourth-quarter earnings expectations, and also said it expects same-store sales to decline 3% to 4%.

The company said Wednesday it now expects earnings in the quarter ending June 25 to be $39 million to $44 million, or 28 cents to 31 cents a share, excluding items, compared with 37 cents a share in the same quarter last year.

On average, analysts expect 37 cents a share during the quarter. The company had previously expected 35 cents to 39 cents a share, or $49 million to $55 million.

Winn-Dixie cited continued softness in sales throughout the fourth quarter, and said the difficult economic and competitive environment that began in the third quarter continued throughout the past few months.

"Our sales have been impacted primarily in markets affected by tourism, and areas where we have had large troop deployments, as well as the overall weakness in the economy," the company said.

The supermarket chain's expectations exclude a $7.7 million payment to Al Rowland, who will retire from his post as chief executive before the end of the fiscal year, and a $28 million reduction in income tax expenses.

For the fiscal year, the company expects to earn $239 to $244 million, or $1.70 to $1.73 a share, under generally accepted accounting principles. Shares of Winn-Dixie were losing $1.33, or 9%, to $13.34 on the

New York Stock Exchange

.