Supervalu Cuts Guidance

MINNEAPOLIS -- Grocery supplies distributor Supervalu Inc. on Wednesday lowered its guidance for the fourth fiscal quarter and the full year on margin pressure in its distribution segment.

Supervalu expects to report earnings for the quarter that ended Feb. 22 of 46 cents to 49 cents per share, with earnings for the fiscal year of $1.89 to $1.92.

The average estimates of analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had been for earnings per share of 55 cents in the fourth quarter and $1.98 for the year.
For fiscal 2004 the company said it expects earnings per share of $2 to $2.15, with flat same-store sales on cautious consumer behavior. The First Call estimate for fiscal 2004 had been for earnings of $2.11 per share.

Supervalu also said same-store sales in its retail segment were flat in the fourth quarter.
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