News Summary: Kroger lifts long-term guidance

ATTENTION SHOPPERS: Kroger Co. is forecasting stronger growth in the years ahead, as company executives outlined plans to expand into new and existing markets, as well as grow the core business.

CASHING IN: The Cincinnati-based company now expects earnings per share to grow 8 to 11 percent, up from the previous forecast of 6 to 8 percent.

FOOD FIGHT: The nation's largest traditional supermarket operator has been transforming the format of its stores as it looks to hang on to customers and fend off competitors like Target and Wal-Mart that are expanding their grocery offerings.