Albertsons expects annual profit above estimates on pandemic boost
Adds profit forecast, sales details, and shares
Oct 20 (Reuters) - Albertsons Cos Inc ACI.N on Tuesday forecast fiscal 2020 profit above estimates after posting better-than-expected quarterly numbers, as the U.S. grocer benefited from consumers shopping for daily essentials during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shares of Albertsons were up 4% before the opening bell, as the grocer posted a 243% growth in digital sales in the second quarter.
Demand for groceries and fresh produce has remained strong, as people working from home due to the outbreak are eating more at home even as restaurants have reopened their dine-in areas and introduced outdoor dining.
Albertsons, one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States, forecast fiscal 2020 adjusted profit per share in a range of $2.75 to $2.85, higher than estimates of $2.23.
Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons also forecast same-store sales to increase at least 15.5% after posting a 13.8% quarterly jump.
Net sales and other revenue rose to $15.76 billion for the second quarter, from $14.18 billion a year earlier, beating Wall Street expectations of about $15.60 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
(Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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