Kroger reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings and sales amid surging digital growth.
The country’s largest grocery store retailer’s net income totaled $819 million, or $1.03 per share, for the quarter ended Aug. 15, up from $297 million, or $0.37 per share, last year. Adjusted earnings per share came in at $0.73 cents, easily topping analysts’ estimates of $0.54.
Sales rose to $30.49 billion from $28.17 billion last year, better than the $29.97 billion the Street had expected.
Digital sales more than doubled, up 127%. Identical sales without fuel rose 14.6%, also more than expected.
“Our top priority is to provide a safe environment for associates and customers and as the pandemic continues, we will continue to rise to meet the challenge,” said Kroger CEO Rodney McMullen. “Customers are at the center of everything we do and, as a result, we are growing market share. Kroger's strong digital business is a key contributor to this growth, as the investments made to expand our digital ecosystem are resonating with customers. Our results continue to show that Kroger is a trusted brand and our customers choose to shop with us because they value the product quality and freshness, convenience, and digital offerings that we provide.”
Kroger has authorized a new $1 billion share buyback program, which replaces a prior authorization. For the full year, Kroger expects identical sales without fuel to exceed 13% growth, with earnings per share expected to be $3.20 to $3.30. The Street estimate is for identical sales growth of 9.7% and earnings per share of $2.92.
This story originally appeared on Chain Store Age.