The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) topped market estimates for earnings in the second quarter of 2019 but revenue fell short of expectations. Shares were up 3.7% in morning trade on Thursday.
Total sales inched up to $28.2 billion from $28 billion in the same period last year but came in shy of estimates of $28.38 billion. Excluding fuel, dispositions and merger transactions, sales grew 2.5%.
Identical sales, ex fuel, grew 2.2% and digital sales grew 31%.
GAAP net income was $297 million, or $0.37 per share, compared to $508 million, or $0.62 per share, in the prior-year quarter. Adjusted EPS totaled $0.44, beating forecasts of $0.41.
The company generated operating profit of $559 million in the quarter. The alternative profit streams are on track to contribute an incremental $100 million in operating profit in 2019 versus 2018.
During the quarter, Our Brands sales rose 3.1% from last year and the company launched 203 new Our Brands items.
As part of its Restock Kroger initiatives, Kroger expanded to 1,780 pickup locations and 2,225 delivery locations, covering over 95% of Kroger households. The company also launched Simple Truth Plant Based, a collection of meatless food products to appeal to a new and rapidly-increasing customer base.
For 2019, Kroger expects GAAP EPS of $2.30-2.40 and adjusted EPS of $2.15-2.25. Identical sales are expected to increase 2% to 2.25%.
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