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The Kroger Co. Queues for Q1 Earnings: Is a Beat Likely?

The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) is likely to register a bottom-line decline when it reports first-quarter fiscal 2024 earnings on Jun 20. The consensus mark for quarterly earnings has remained unchanged in the past 30 days at $1.33 per share. This indicates a decline of 11.9% from the year-ago quarter's reported figure. However, KR has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 8.5%, on average. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues is pegged at $45.05 billion compared with the prior-year quarter's reported figure of $45.17 billion. Factors to Note Kroger appears to be navigating a tough operating landscape characterized by a tightening consumer spending environment, thanks to higher interest rates, reduced savings and fewer government benefits. Also, the grocery industry is witnessing increased competition, with retailers actively working to reduce prices and expand their range of budget-friendly food options. Factors like these may have put pressure on first-quarter results. For fiscal 2024, the company anticipates identical sales growth, excluding fuel, between 0.25% and 1.75%. Kroger expects these sales figures to strengthen as the year progresses, reflecting initial setbacks from SNAP reductions in early 2024, coupled with milder inflation rates. Inflation is projected to be at its lowest in the first quarter, with an expectation of gradual increases throughout the year. Consequently, identical sales, excluding fuel, are anticipated to start at or slightly below the lower end of the annual forecast in ...