KROGER OPERATING NET CLIMBS IN 4TH QUARTER

CINCINNATI -- Kroger Co. here said operating earnings increased 25.7% in the fourth quarter, which exceeded Wall Street's expectations and helped boost Kroger's stock above $24 per share for the first time in a year.Operating earnings, or earnings before an extraordinary item of $3.8 million related to debt retirement, totaled $86.5 million in the 12-week quarter. This compared with operating earnings

CINCINNATI -- Kroger Co. here said operating earnings increased 25.7% in the fourth quarter, which exceeded Wall Street's expectations and helped boost Kroger's stock above $24 per share for the first time in a year.

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