Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Free Article Join Over 1 Million Premium Members And Get More In-Depth Stock Guidance and Research

Why Kroger Stock Was Slammed Thursday

By Daniel Sparks - Updated Apr 11, 2019 at 4:57PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Ouch! Here's what's behind the grocer stock's sharp decline today.

What happened

Shares of Kroger ( KR -2.73% ) took a big hit on Thursday, falling as much as 14%. As of 10:26 a.m. EST, the stock was down 12.3%.

Shares are down following the grocery retailer's fourth-quarter earnings release, which included a top-line miss and worse-than-expected earnings per share.

A man holding a bag of lettuce in a grocery store

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

Kroger reported fourth-quarter net sales of $28.1 billion, down 9.5% year over year. But when excluding sales from fuel, an extra week in the fourth quarter of 2017, the company's divestiture of its convenience store unit, and the impact of Kroger's merger with Home Chef, sales were up 1.6% year over year. The quarter's sales, however, were shy of analysts' average forecast for $28.4 billion. 

Adjusted earnings per share for the period were $0.48, down from $0.54 in the year-ago quarter. Management noted that 2018 was "an investment year" for the company as it attempts to evolve in a rapidly changing environment -- particularly when it comes to digital sales.

Check out the latest earnings call transcript for Kroger.

Now what

In 2019, Kroger is targeting same-store sales growth, excluding fuel, in the range of 2% to 2.25%. In addition, the company said it expects EPS for the year to be between $2.15 and $2.19, below analysts' consensus estimate for $2.25. 

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis – even one of our own – helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

The Kroger Co. Stock Quote
The Kroger Co.
$43.43 (-2.73%) $-1.22

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 12/04/2021.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Our Most Popular Articles

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with the Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from the Motley Fool's premium services.