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Shares of



were up almost 8% after the company said third-quarter profits came in a penny above the analyst consensus.

Recently, shares were up $1.68 to $22.99 on the

New York Stock Exchange

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The company earned $281.3 million, or 60 cents a share, compared with $309.2 million, or 60 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Earnings include $32.7 million, or 6 cents a share, of goodwill amortization. Analysts were expecting the company to earn 59 cents a share.

Safeway's comparable-store sales decreased 0.7% and identical-store sales (which exclude replacement stores) fell 1.4%.

Revenue was also flat at $8.1 billion, compared with $8.0 billion a year ago.

Looking ahead, the company expects to earn 84 cents a share in its fourth quarter, on track with analyst predictions.

Separately, the company said it repurchased 32.9 million shares for $918 million.