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What: Shares of Village Supermarket (NASDAQ: VLGEA ) were taking a spill today, falling as much as 11% after an underwhelming first-quarter earnings report.
So what: The parent of the Shop Rite supermarket chain said sales fell 0.3% to $357 million, but same-store sales increased 0.9% when adjusting for the effects of Hurricane Sandy last year. For the quarter, Village Supermarket posted an adjusted per-share profit of $0.26, and operating income was down 40% from the year before. There are no analysts covering the stock, so comparisons to estimates can't be made. Management noted the impact of economic weakness, high gas prices, and high unemployment, and said that three new store openings by competitors also affected sales.
Now what: Shop Rite is an aging brand, and unless management makes some updates, we're likely to see more quarters like this. The company did say it expects a same-store sales increase of 0.5% to 2.5% for the fiscal year, a decent rate, but gross margins also fell 50 margins in the previous quarter. With competitors opening stores nearby and the American palate changing, I'd like to see Village Supermarkets make some changes to keep with the industry before getting on board.
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