Saturday, May 18 2013 8:25 PM EDT2013-05-19 00:25:28 GMT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- The Kroger Co. says its net income edged up slightly in the first quarter as its customer loyalty programs helped drive up revenue. The company also raised its full-year earnings outlook.
The nation's largest traditional grocery store chain says it earned $439.4 million, or 78 cents per share, for the three months ended May 19. That compares with $432.3 million, or 70 cents a share, a year ago. The higher per-share figure in the latest quarter was the result of a reduced number of outstanding shares.
Analysts on average expected a profit of 72 cents per share, according to FactSet.
The Cincinnati-based company, which operates Ralphs, Food 4 Less and other grocery stores, also says it authorized a $1 billion share buyback.
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