KROGER'S QUARTER BEATS EXPECTATIONS

CINCINNATI -- For the third consecutive quarter, Kroger Co. here has surprised Wall Street with better-than-expected financial results.Kroger, the nation's largest supermarket operator, last week said its operating earnings more than doubled to $70 million, or 57 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 18. Operating earnings totaled $29.6 million, or 27 cents per share, in the year-ago period.Sales

CINCINNATI -- For the third consecutive quarter, Kroger Co. here has surprised Wall Street with better-than-expected financial results.

Kroger, the nation's largest supermarket operator, last week said its operating earnings more than doubled to $70 million, or 57 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 18. Operating earnings totaled $29.6 million, or 27 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Sales increased 1.2% to $5.39 billion, and same-store sales increased at

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