MINNEAPOLIS — Supervalu here yesterday said it expects same-store sales trends to improve in the coming year, projecting gains of 1% to 2% for fiscal 2009, which ends next March. The company saw its stock price jump nearly 7%, to about $28, after it issued the guidance, which included earnings projections for the coming year that were higher than analysts’ estimates. Supervalu said it expects net income per share to be in the range of $3.06-$3.22 in fiscal 2009, vs. the range of $2.71-$2.77 projected for fiscal 2008, which recently ended. Analysts had expected earnings per share of $3.04 for fiscal 2009. Supervalu said it would provide more detail on its projections when it reports earnings for fiscal 2008 next month. “Supervalu’s long-awaited initial 2009 guidance was more optimistic than we had expected,” John Heinbockel, an analyst with Goldman Sachs, said in a report yesterday, citing the uncertain economy and recent sluggish sales trends. Also, Supervalu said David Oliver, who had been vice president and controller in Supervalu’s supply chain division, will be interim vice president of investor relations. As previously reported, the current VP of IR, Yolanda Scharton, is leaving effective April 30.
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