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Why SUPERVALU Shares Soared

By Jeremy Bowman - Updated Nov 17, 2016 at 4:25PM

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Is this meaningful? Or just another movement?

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: SUPERVALU (SVU) was looking like a steal today, climbing as much as 12% after reporting quarterly earnings this morning.

So what: The once-battered supermarket stock has come roaring back in the past several months, gaining more than 250% at today's peak from its bottom last fall. SUPERVALU actually opened the day lower as its adjusted earnings fell to negative $0.14 a share from a gain of $0.02 a share in the quarter a year ago. Without adjustments, the company actually lost $6.65 per share this quarter. Still, the stock jumped on comments from management about prospects for its Save-A-Lot chain, and plans to revamp SUPERVALU's cost structure under the direction of new CEO Sam Duncan. Duncan talked up the steps the company's taken to "right-size" corporate overhead and decentralize leadership in the earnings release.

Now what:Investors seem to be continuing to anticipate a SUPERVALU turnaround, but in every quarter they're still left holding the bag. Today's results did not include the $3.3 billion injection, nearly all of which came in the form of debt, the company got for its sale of Albertson's, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Shaw's, and Star Market in March to Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity group. Duncan also reminded investors that the company's main focus is now on "driving sales in all business units," though overall revenue slipped 2% to $3.89 billion in the quarter.

Pay attention to next quarter's report, which should give a hint on how the new slimmed-down company is performing. If revenue is pointing north, SUPERVALU could be well on its way to a turnaround.

Don't miss the next update on SUPERVALU. Add the company to your Watchlist by clicking here.

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