Supervalu Inc., which is set to become the second-largest traditional U.S. grocery chain once it buys most of Albertsons Inc.'s stores, Monday outlined its forecast for the combined business.
The acquisition would come at a key time as grocers such as Supervalu and Albertsons have struggled to keep consumers interested in their stores.
Supervalu forecast fiscal 2007 earnings of $2.17 to $2.44 a share and total sales of about $37.4 billion to $38 billion if the deal closes, as expected, in early June. The company's fiscal 2007 began Feb. 26.
Minneapolis-based Supervalu earned $1.46 a share on net sales of $19.9 billion in fiscal 2006.
Chairman and Chief Executive Jeff Noddle, who would remain in his post after the deal closed, said during a call that Supervalu still expected the deal to immediately add to earnings on a double-digit percentage basis, excluding one-time costs.
Supervalu shares fell 20 cents to $29.71.