Safeway Beats Profit Forecasts, Shares Fall

Earnings rose on a gain from the sale of some stores

By Christopher Freeburn, InvestorPlace Writer

Safeway (NYSE:SWY) announced on Thursday that it earned $157 million during the third quarter, up 21% from $130.2 million in the same period last year. Adjusted EPS was 45 cents, which topped the 43 cents that Wall Street was looking for, the Associated Press noted.

Quarterly earnings were boosted by a $49 million after-tax gain from the sales of its Genuardi’s-branded stores. Excluding that gain, Safeway earned $108 million during the quarter.

3 Packaged Foods Stocks to Buy Now
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The supermarket operator recorded revenue of $10.05 billion, down slightly from $10.06 billion in 2011.

Investors weren’t pleased with the results. Shares of Safeway dropped more than 4% in Thursday morning trading.

Sames-store sales increased by 0.1% in the quarter. Safeway has introduced a new customer loyalty program called “just for U.” It’s designed to stem shopper defections to discount retailers like Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Target (NYSE:TGT).

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