Supervalu Q3 Sales Lag

For its third quarter, Supervalu posted company net earnings of $34 million, or 13 cents per diluted share, versus $79 million, or 30 cents per diluted share, in the year-prior period. Adjusted net earnings were $46 million, or 16 cents per diluted share, versus $49 million, or 18 cents per diluted share, in last year’s quarter.

In this year’s third quarter, Supervalu matched a Zacks Investment Research analyst average earnings estimate.

Retail food identical store sales slipped 2.6%, Supervalu reported. Identical store sales for the company’s Save-A-Lot operation slid 3.4%, while idents for corporate stores within the Save-A-Lot network, taken separately from franchised operations, were down 0.4%.

Net sales were $4.11 billion, Supervalu maintained, versus $4.23 billion in the 2014 period. Total net sales within the independent business segment, the company’s distribution operation, decreased 3.5%.

Supervalu stated that Save-A-Lot net sales were $1.07 billion versus $1.09 billion in last year’s third quarter. Save-A-Lot adjusted operating earnings were $34 million, matching last year’s operating earnings.

Retail food net sales were $1.10 billion, compared to $1.13 billion in the 2015 quarter. Retail food adjusted operating earnings were $22 million versus operating earnings of $28 million in the period a year earlier, driven by higher employee-related costs, the company related.

“Although third quarter adjusted EBITDA was in-line with our operating plan, we continue to operate in a challenging environment,” said Supervalu president and CEO Sam Duncan. “Improving sales is a primary focus as we look to complete the fiscal year.”

The company recently filed an initial Form 10 Registration Statement (Form 10) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with its previously announced, possible spin-off of its Save-A-Lot business into a separate, publicly traded company.

Supervalu’s network of 3,395 stores is composed of 1,854 independent stores, 1,342 Save-A-Lot stores and 199 traditional retail grocery stores.