Albertsons Sees Good Times Continuing, Boost Forecasts By

© Reuters.

By Christiana Sciaudone —  Albertsons Companies (NYSE:) thanks you for hoarding.

The grocery chain beat expectations and boosted its fiscal 2020 outlook, and Chief Executive Officer Vivek Sankaran said on CNBC that he sees no deceleration ahead. 

The company said it expects identical sales growth in fiscal 2020 of approximately 16.5%, versus the previous 15.5%, as well as adjusted earnings per share of between $3.05 and $3.15 compared to an earlier forecast of no more than $2.85 per share. 

“Customer behavior is changing,” Sankaran said, and with continued work-from-home scenarios, even post-pandemic, that means more eating at home. While growth rates from the start of the pandemic won’t return, “We’re in for healthier growth than we saw before the pandemic.” 

For the third quarter, Albertsons reported sales of $15.4 billion, which narrowly beat estimates, and profit of 66 cents per share, compared to the expected 42 cents.

Shoppers are stockpiling amid a second wave of infections.

“Customers continue to consolidate trips and we continue to see fewer trips per household but larger baskets these households are spending more with us compared to last year,” Sankaran said on the earnings call.

Breakfast, too, has been an unexpected boon.

“We’ve seen large increases in sales of breakfast items such as cereal, eggs and bacon as people are eating a full breakfast at home rather than grabbing breakfast on the go,” Sankaran said. “We anticipate the consumption patterns we are seeing now will continue well into 2021 and then should continue to favor us.”

Albertsons is trading at a relatively low forward price to earnings ratio of almost 10 times, compared to Walmart (NYSE:)’s 26 times.


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