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Kroger Q4 profit up 9%

Cincinnati -- Kroger Co. said Thursday that its fourth-quarter net income jumped 9.2% while sales rose 7.4%. It also announced that its board authorized a $1 billion stock repurchase plan.

Net income was $278.8 million, compared with $255.4 million in the year-ago period. Quarterly revenue rose to $19.9 billion, with same-store sales up 3.8%.

Kroger offered a cautious outlook for the current year, saying rising fuel costs are likely to take a bite out of household budgets.

Kroger said total sales rose 7.1% for the year. Excluding fuel, its sales rose 3.4%. Same-store sales rose 2.8% for the year, excluding fuel.