The Kroger Co. Third Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, December 1, 2011. Kroger is a retail chain operating food and drug stores, multi-department stores, jewelry stores, and convenience stores in the United States.

The Kroger Co. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 31 cents per share, a decline of 3.1% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 34 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at 31 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 10.8% versus last year to $1.95.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company missed estimates by 2 cents, coming in at profit of 41 cents per share versus a mean estimate of net income of 43 cents per share. In the first quarter, the company beat estimates by 6 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: On average, analysts predict $20.38 billion in revenue this quarter, a rise of 9% from the year ago quarter. Analysts are forecasting total revenue of $90.08 billion for the year, a rise of 9.6% from last year’s revenue of $82.19 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with 10 analysts rating it as a buy, two rating it as a sell and four rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the second quarter, profit rose 7.3% to $281 million (46 cents a share) from $262 million (41 cents a share) the year earlier, but fell short analyst expectations. Revenue rose 11.3% to $20.91 billion from $18.8 billion.

Key Stats:

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue rose 10.9% in the first quarter from the year earlier, climbed 7.6% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year from the year-ago quarter and 5.8% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY), Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM), SUPERVALU INC. (NYSE:SVU), The Fresh Market Inc (NASDAQ:TFM), Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:WINN), Ingles Markets, Inc. (NASDAQ:IMKTA), Weis Markets, Inc. (NYSE:WMK), Delhaize Group (NYSE:DEG), Ruddick Corporation (NYSE:RDK), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Target (NYSE:TGT) and Arden Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARDNA).

Stock Price Performance: During August 31, 2011 to November 25, 2011, the stock price had fallen $1.28 (-5.5%) from $23.44 to $22.16. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between March 2, 2011 and March 10, 2011 when shares rose for seven-straight days, rising 6.3% (+$1.40) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between November 11, 2011 and November 17, 2011 when shares fell for five-straight days, falling 5.6% (-$1.32) over that span. Shares are up 22 cents (+1%) year to date.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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