Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Kroger Co. Stock Tumbles after Grocer Predicts Slower Growth This Year

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Kroger Co. Stock Tumbles after Grocer Predicts Slower Growth This Year

Article excerpt

Kroger Co. fell as much as 8.2 percent after the grocer predicted slower growth this year, hurt by pressure on prices and its merger with the Roundy's chain. Excluding fuel, same-store sales will rise 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent this year, the Cincinnati-based company said in a statement Thursday. The increase was 3.9 percent on that basis in the fourth quarter. Analysts had predicted a gain of 4.5 percent in the period, according to Consensus Metrix.

Record production of food has brought lower prices to U.S. supermarkets - good news for consumers, but a challenging situation for retailers. Beef, pork, chicken and milk output is expected to rise this year, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Digesting the Roundy's business also is a hurdle for Kroger. That chain, which Kroger bought in December, pulled down its sales growth last quarter. …

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