Kroger Rises After Profit Tops Estimates

Kroger Co., the largest U.S. supermarket chain, rose the most in five months after posting third-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates and boosting its earnings forecast for the year.

The shares climbed 3.6 percent to $60.76 at the close in New York for the biggest one-day gain since June 19. Cincinnati-based Kroger has gained 54 percent this year.

Kroger has increased sales with its purchase of the Harris Teeter Grocery chain earlier this year and by selling more organic and natural food under its Simple Truth label. Falling gasoline prices also have left more cash in consumers’ pockets.

Third-quarter net income rose 21 percent to $362 million, or 73 cents a share, Kroger said today in a statement. Excluding some items, profit was 69 cents a share. Analysts projected 61 cents, on average. Revenue climbed 11 percent to about $25 billion.

Profit per share in the current year will be $3.32 to $3.36, up from an earlier forecast of $3.22 to $3.28, Kroger said today. Analysts estimated $3.29, on average.

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