CINCINNATI — Kroger Co. on Friday said second-quarter earnings increased by 7.3% on a sales increase of 11.5%, but its stock tumbled in early trading as gross margins slid by 53 basis points.
Kroger reported earnings of $280.8 million on sales of $18.8 billion in the quarter, which ended Aug. 13. Identical-store sales excluding fuel increased by 5.3% in the quarter. Earnings per share of 46 cents exceeded analyst estimates of 43 cents.
The sales results prompted Kroger to raise its guidance for annual sales growth to 4% to 5% from earlier projections of 3.5% to 4.5%. Gross margins fell by 53 basis points to 21% of sales in the quarter.
Stock in Kroger was down nearly 7% in early trading Friday.