Kroger posted net income of $195.9 million for the three months ending Nov. 5, the company’s fiscal 2012 third quarter, down from $202.2 million during the same period a year earlier. Sales rose 10% to $20.6 billion.
Per-share profit, at 33 cents, surpassed the average analyst estimate by about 1 cent, according to Thomson Reuters
The company raised its full-year per-share forecast for 2012 to $1.95 to $2, up from $1.85 to $1.95 previously.
Kroger’s performance still lags that of smaller specialty grocers, such as Whole Foods Market Inc., which draw more affluent customers. Whole Foods’ comparable-store sales rose 8.7% during the Austin, Texas-based company’s most recent quarter.
Identical or comparable-store sales are a closely-followed gauge of retailer performance and typically reflect locations open at least one year.
Kroger operates 2,439 stores nationwide under about two dozen banners, including City Market, Dillons, Food 4 Less, Fred Meyer and King Soopers.