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Winn-Dixie Posts Quarterly Profit; Shares Soar

Grocer Winn-Dixie Stores, which emerged from bankruptcy in November, posted a quarterly profit, which came in above the estimate from one analyst, sending the stock up more than 25%.

Shares of the company touched a 52-week high of $26.05 earlier.

Same-store sales rose by 1.6 percent for the third quarter, driven by increases in the average basket, which on an identical store basis rose by 3.6 percent.

For the latest third quarter, the company reported net income of $17.8 million, compared with a net loss of $29.0 million last year.

It had earnings per share of 33 cents for the latest quarter.

One analyst expected earnings of 7 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates.

The company said its liquidity increased by $73.8 million to $573.4 million from the end of the second quarter, primarily as a result of cash flow from operations, income tax refunds, and higher borrowing availability, offset by capital expenditures.

It also said it had no material borrowings under its revolving credit facility.

At the end of the second quarter, the company had said it expected liquidity to drop by about $80 million during the rest of the fiscal year, as it accelerated its store remodeling plans and made payments related to its emergence from bankruptcy.