CINCINNATI — Kroger Co. here on Thursday reported first-quarter earnings that exceeded analyst estimates and raised its forecast for annual earnings.


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Sales for the quarter, which ended May 25, totaled $30 billion, a 3.8% increase from the same period a year ago. Identical-store sales, excluding fuel, increased by 3.3%. Net earnings totaled $481 million, or 92 cents per share. Analysts had expected 89 cents.

Kroger raised guidance on annual earnings to a range of $2.73 to $2.80 per share, from previous guidance of $2.71 to $2.79. It expects non-fuel ID sales to increase between 2.5% and 3.5%.

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