NEW YORK -- Safeway, Pleasanton, Calif., said last week it has lowered its earnings expectations for the next five years by 2%. Steve Burd, chairman, president and chief executive officer, told the company's annual investor conference here, "We are lowering our guidance because we want to have the flexibility to invest our cost savings into gross margins, which we feel will help us grow top-line sales. Also, we think this will help us deal more effectively with competitive flare-up." ...

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