CINCINNATI (AP) _ The Kroger Co., the nation’s largest grocery chain, reported Wednesday that earnings soared 34 percent in the third quarter, after its tax bill dropped by $16 million.
The company said earnings rose to $95.7 million, or 36 cents a share, in the quarter ending Oct. 4, compared with $71.4 million, or 28 cents a share, a year earlier.
The results announced Wednesday were slightly ahead of analysts’ expectations, and the company’s stock was up 87 1/2 cents per share to $32.93 3/4 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
Quarterly sales were $7.69 billion, compared with $7.34 billion.
For the first three quarters, net earnings were $287.9 million, or $1.08 a share, compared with $224.4 million, or 86 cents a share, a year ago. Sales were $20.06 billion, compared with $18.97 billion.