SUPERVALU Popped: What You Need to Know

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of discount supermarket-eer SUPERVALU (NYSE: SVU  ) popped 10% higher today post-earnings.

So what: SUPERVALU "beat earnings" by $0.02 this morning, earning $0.35 per share, or about 13% better than last year. Surprisingly, it managed this despite a 4% decline in sales, and an effort to push its "everyday pricing" down to the levels of larger rivals Kroger (NYSE: KR  ) and Safeway (NYSE: SWY  ) -- which you might think would pinch profit margins, but apparently didn't.

Now what: Earning more than expected last quarter, you might also expect SUPERVALU to raise its estimate of what it will earn over the course of the full year -- by the amount of the $0.02 beat, at least. It didn't. Rather, SUPERVALU held full-year guidance steady at $1.20 to $1.40.

Investors aren't punishing SUPERVALU for that. Why not? My guess: Because up on Wall Street, analysts are still only expecting SUPERVALU to earn $1.23 per share this year. That's way below the midpoint of SUPERVALU's guidance, and seems to keep the door open to additional "earnings beats" as the year progresses. Fingers crossed.

Can SUPERVALU repeat the feat (or even three-peat?) Add it to your Watchlist and find out.

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own (or short) shares of any company named above. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The Motley Fool owns shares of SUPERVALU. Also, Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying calls in SUPERVALU. Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.


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