MINNEAPOLIS — Supervalu here yesterday warned investors that its first-quarter earnings would be significantly below previous expectations, and the news sent the company's stock down about 12%.
"Consumers have become more value-focused and cautious in their spending, which has pressured sales and margins greater than anticipated," said Craig Herkert, who recently succeeded Jeff Noddle as chief executive officer.
Supervalu said it expected same-store sales to be down about 3% for the period, which ended June 20. Earnings will be "substantially below" analysts' reported average estimates of about 65 cents per share, the company said. The company said it planned to update its guidance for the year when it issues a full report on first-quarter results on July 28.
During its fourth-quarter earnings conference call in April, Supervalu had cautioned that price investments could hurt same-store sales in the short term but were expected to improve by year-end.
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