The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) reported a 57% jump in earnings for the first quarter of 2020 driven by higher sales. The significant investments in Restock Kroger helped the company deliver improved results as the fresh food and essentials were needed during the pandemic.
Kroger’s capital allocation strategy is to use its adjusted free cash flow to invest in the business and drive profitable growth while also maintaining its current investment grade debt rating and returning capital to shareholders. The company actively balances the use of its adjusted free cash flow to achieve these goals.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the outlook for food retail in 2020 and the company continues to monitor, evaluate, and adjust its plans to address the impact on its business. While Kroger expects to exceed the previous outlook for identical sales without fuel, adjusted FIFO operating profit, adjusted EPS, and adjusted free cash flow, the company is not able to forecast the extent of such upside.
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