Grocer Kroger’s 1st-qtr net income off 14 percent |

Grocer Kroger’s 1st-qtr net income off 14 percent

CINCINATTI (AP) – Supermarket operator Kroger says its net income fell 14 percent in the first quarter as its costs rose faster than its revenue.

But the results beat analysts’ expectations and the nation’s largest grocer, which owns King Soopers and City Market stores, affirmed its full-year forecast.

Kroger shares rose 5 percent in electronic trading before the market opened Thursday.

The Cincinnati-based company’s net income fell 14 percent to $373.7 million, or 58 cents per share. That beat analysts’ average forecast for 54 cents per share.

Net income was $435.1 million, or 67 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 9 percent to $24.76 billion from $22.79 billion, with help from gasoline sales.

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