NEW YORK (AP) — Kroger Co. reported a surge in fourth-quarter profit Thursday, but the lackluster results and outlook sunk shares.
The Cincinnati company’s stock fell $1.48, or 5.6 percent, to $24.79 in premarket trading as its outlook fell mostly short of Wall street expectations.
The company’s profit jumped 69 percent to $854 million, or 96 cents per share, mainly on a benefit from last year’s sweeping tax reform. Excluding one-time gains and costs, it earned 63 cents per share, matching Wall Street expectations.
Revenue rose 12.4 percent to $31.03 billion, beating expectations of $30.83 billion. Excluding fuel sales and the 53rd week this year, quarterly sales rose 2.7 percent.
The supermarket operator is in the midst of an initiative to change product offerings and bolster the use of technology in stores. It said it grew digital sales this fiscal year by more than 90 percent.
For the year, the company reported profit of $1.91 billion, or $2.09 per share. Revenue was reported as $122.66 billion.
Kroger, the parent of chains including Ralphs, Dillons and King Soopers, expects similar results in 2018, with full-year earnings ranging from $1.95 to $2.15 per share. Wall Street’s outlook called for $2.15 per share.