Supervalu Profits Up 51%, Aided By Albertson's Deal

Grocery-store chain Supervalu said quarterly profits jumped 51%, helped by the company's acquisition of Albertson's grocery stores.

The company, which also reaffirmed its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings forecast, became the second-largest U.S. grocery store chain in June, when it acquired Albertson's grocery operations.

Net income for the third quarter ended Dec. 2 rose to $113 million, or 54 cents a share, from $75 million, or 53 cents a share, a year ago.

The latest results included one-time charges of 8 cents a share. Excluding charges, the company earned 62 cents a share, outpacing those of Wall Street analysts.

The Minneapolis-based company said in December that it expected to earn between 52 cents and 56 cents in its fiscal third quarter, or 60 cents to 63 cents a share excluding charges. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial expected the company to earn 57 cents a share.

The results are "very much within our expectations," and underscore the accretive nature of the Albertson's acquisition, Jeff Noddle, Supervalu chairman and CEO, told "Squawk Box."

Sales rose to $10.66 billion from $4.7 billion a year ago, thanks the addition of 1,100 Albertson's stores.

For its fiscal fourth quarter, the company continues to expect earnings of 59 cents to 66 cents a share, after one-time items.

According to Thomson Financial, analysts on average expect earnings of 60 cents a share.

The company also plans to spend $1.2 billion remodeling stores in 2007.

Rather than building new stores, Supervalu will focus on "going where the consumer is going," remodeling stores and putting an emphasis on natural, organic, fresh and prepared foods, Noddle told CNBC.

Shares of Supervalu rose nearly 16% in the latest quarter.