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April 1, 2020, 9:27 a.m. EDT

Kroger same-store sales soar 30% in March, maintains 2020 guidance despite coronavirus-related volatility

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By Tonya Garcia

Kroger Co. /zigman2/quotes/206215053/composite KR +1.75% said Wednesday that same-store sales excluding fuel soared 30% in March amid coronavirus-related stockpiling of household necessities. Demand lifted the last week of February, "dramatically heightened" in the middle of the month, then tapered off but remained above normal the last week of the month. Demand was spread between grocery items and fresh food, though Kroger says it's too soon to tell what, if any, changes there will be to food consumption or sales in the future. Despite the volatility and ongoing uncertainty from the outbreak, Kroger is maintaining its 2020 guidance. The company expects same-store sales excluding fuel to exceed 2.25% and earnings per share of $2.30 to $2.40. The FactSet consensus is for same-store sales growth of 2.8% and EPS of $2.42. Shares slipped 1.3% in premarket trading. Kroger has drawn down $1 billion from its revolving credit facility and has suspended share buybacks. Kroger also announced another bonus for its front-line workers. Kroger stock has gained 23% over the last year while the S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.48% is down nearly 10% for the period.

/zigman2/quotes/206215053/composite
US : U.S.: NYSE
$ 32.62
+0.56 +1.75%
Volume: 16.55M
May 29, 2020 4:00p
P/E Ratio
15.87
Dividend Yield
1.96%
Market Cap
$25.21 billion
Rev. per Employee
$269,849
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/zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime
US : S&P US
3,044.31
+14.58 +0.48%
Volume: 4.38B
May 29, 2020 5:14p
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