Giant Food earnings up 49% in fourth quarter

March 31, 1993|By Michael Dresser | Michael Dresser,Staff Writer

Giant Food Inc. yesterday broke its streak of six straight periods of earnings declines as it posted a rousing 49 percent gain over last year's dismal fourth-quarter profits.

The Landover-based grocery chain's income jumped to $36.7 million, from $24.7 million during last year's final quarter. Its earnings-per-share of 62 cents, up from 42 cents for the same period last year, leapfrogged analysts' expectations, between 40 and 45 cents.

Giant's earnings report was released after the market closed yesterday, so there was no effect on its stock, down 12.5 cents, to $22.25.

Sales were up a modest 2.4 percent, to $1.1 billion, based on a comparison with the corresponding 16 weeks of the previous year. Sales in stores that have been open at least a year gained 1.5 percent on the same basis. The previous fiscal year included 53 weeks, with 17 weeks in the fourth quarter.

It was a quarter in which Giant's penny-pinching paid off. But the company's income as a percentage of sales reached an enviable 3.3 percent, up from 2.14 percent last year.

"That's an excellent ratio by any measuring stick," said Jeff Metzger, publisher of the Columbia-based trade journal Food World.

David B. Sykes, Giant's senior vice president for finance, said he was "extremely pleased" with the report, but he was not ready to hail a change in the economic climate.

Although Giant's fourth-quarter numbers were encouraging, the surge was not enough to carry the company to a gain for the full 1993 fiscal year.

Earnings fell to $81.6 million, from $87.2 million the previous year. Earnings per share were $1.37, compared with $1.47 in fiscal 1992.

Giant Food

.. .. .. .. .. .. Ticker.. .. .. .. .. .. ... .. Yesterday's

.. ... ... .... ..Symbol .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Cls.. .. .. .. Chg.

.. .. .. .. .. .. GFS/A .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 22 1/4 .. .. .. .. ..-

Period ended

Feb. 27 .. .. .. 4th qtr.. .. .. .. ..Year ago .. .. .. .. .. Chg.

Revenue.. .. .. .$1,112,000 .. .. ....$1,152,000*.. .. .. ..-3.5%*

Net Income.. .. .$36,688.. .. .. .. ..$24,659 .. .. .. .. ..+48.8%

Primary EPS .. .. ..$0.62 .. .. .. .. $0.42 .. .. .. .. .. .+47.6%

.. .. .. .. .. .. 52 wks.. .. ... .. .. ..Year ago.. .. .. Chg.

Revenue .. .. .. .$3,473,000.. .. .. .. .. $3,490,000... .. 0.0%

Net Income.. .. ..$81,506.. .. .. .. .. .. $87,180 .. .. .. -6.5%

Primary EPS.. .. .. $1.37.. .. .. .. .. .. $1.47.. .. .. .. -6.8%

Figures in thousands (except per share data.)

* 1993 quarter was 16 weeks, 1992 quarter was 17 weeks. On 16-week-to-16-week basis, gain was 2.4 percent.

** Fiscal 1993 was 52 weeks, fiscal 1992 was 53 weeks. On a 52-week-to-52-week basis, gain was 1.4 percent.

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