Kroger net income rises in Q1, boosts outlook
Cincinnati — The Kroger Co. reported Thursday that net income in the first quarter rose to $439.4 million, from $432.3 million last year.
The operator of namesake stores as well as Ralphs, Food 4 Less and others, also said it authorized a $1 billion share buyback.
Sales during the period were $29.06 billion, up from $27.46 billion last year but missing Wall Street’s expected $29.16 billion. Same-store sales rose 4.2%, the grocer’s 34th straight quarter of growth.
Based on the strong first quarter, the company lifted its 2012 outlook.
Pier 1 Imports sales and profit rise in Q1
Fort Worth, Texas — Pier 1 Imports reported Thursday that net income for the quarter ended May 26 rose to $17.8 million, from $14.1 million in the year-ago period.
Sales increased 7.9% to $361.1 million from $334.6 million last year, and same-store sales rose 7.2% during the first quarter on top of last year’s 10.2% gain.
“The results demonstrate the effectiveness of our merchandising strategies and in-store execution, as well as strong full-price selling,” said Alex Smith, president and CEO. “We are excited about the upcoming launch of our e-commerce site.”
Report: Consumer prices fall in May by most in 3 years
Washington, D.C. — A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed that the cost of living in the U.S. dropped in May by the most in three years.
The consumer-price index declined 0.3%, more than forecast and the biggest drop since December 2008, after no change the prior month.
Economists projected a 0.2% decrease, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. The core measure, which excludes food and energy costs, increased 0.2% for a third month.
“The drop in the headline is encouraging for the Fed because it shows gasoline prices are less of strain on consumers’ incomes, which means they can pick up spending in the summer months,” Jeffrey Greenberg, an economist at Nomura Securities International, told Bloomberg. “Unemployment is the Fed’s big concern. They aren’t worried about inflation going out of control.”
Estimates from 78 economists ranged from a decrease of 0.6% to an increase of 0.2%.