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Supervalu's profit surges 51%

January 10, 2007|From the Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Supervalu Inc., the nation's No. 3 supermarket chain, said Tuesday that its fiscal third-quarter earnings jumped almost 51% because of its purchase of grocery chain Albertsons Inc. But the results missed analysts' expectations, and its shares fell nearly 2%.

Supervalu said it earned $113 million, or 54 cents a share, in the three months ended Dec. 2, up from $75 million, or 53 cents, during the same period last year. Revenue more than doubled to $10.66 billion from $4.7 billion a year earlier.

Supervalu's results included a nickel a share in transaction costs from the Albertsons purchase, a penny a share of expenses for stock options, and 2 cents a share for special hybrid securities issued by Supervalu.

On a comparable basis, analysts surveyed by Thomas Financial were expecting earnings of 56 cents a share for the quarter on revenue of $10.53 billion. Supervalu had predicted earnings of 52 cents to 56 cents a share.

Supervalu stores will continue to get a face-lift in the next year as part of a widespread remodeling effort.

Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Supervalu kept its fiscal fourth-quarter guidance unchanged at 59 cents to 66 cents a share. It said it expected to earn $2.34 to $2.41 for the full year after transaction costs from Albertsons and other one-time expenses are subtracted. It expects full-year revenue of $37 billion.

Supervalu shares fell 61 cents, or 1.7%, to close at $35.16.

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