Albertson’s Quarterly Profit Rises

Boise, Idaho, Albertson’s said its fourth-quarter profit rose, helped by the acquisitions of the Shaw’s and Bristol Farms chains and an additional week of business.

Profit in the fourth quarter ended Feb. 3 rose to $194 million, or 52? a share, from $130 million, or 35? a share, a year earlier. Excluding certain items, the company said it earned 50? per share. It said earnings were negatively impacted by 1? per share due to additional costs associated with the Florida hurricanes.

Analysts had expected the company to post a profit of 53? a share after the company reduced its outlook last month.

Sales grew 29% to $11 billion from $9 billion a year ago. Same-store sales rose 5.3%.

Albertson’s said it expected 2005 total-year earnings to be between $1.33 and $1.43 per share, including a 4? impact from expensing stock options. Same-store sales were expected to be positive for the full year.