MINNEAPOLIS — Shares of Supervalu were up nearly 7% Tuesday after the company showed progress in slowing sales declines and exceeded analyst earnings estimates during the fiscal first quarter.
The retailer reported net earnings of $74 million on sales of $11.1 billion during the quarter, which ended June 18. Overall sales declined 4.4%, reflecting a 3.9% identical-store sales decline and the effects of market exits and the divestiture of Total Logistics Control. Net earnings increased 10.4%.
Although identical-store sales were down 3.9%, they represented an improvement from the same period a year ago when IDs fell 5%, officials noted. Customer count declines also slowed from a 4.6% decline to 4.4%, and average ticket showed a 0.5% increase. Craig Herkert, Supervalu’s chief executive officer, said the figures show evidence that Supervalu’s turnaround strategy was gaining traction.
Supervalu on Tuesday also affirmed its previous earnings estimates for fiscal 2012 of $1.20 to $1.40 per share.