Albertsons Jumps 5.6% As Online Sales Pop 243%

Shares of Albertsons jumped 5.6% on Tuesday after the food and drug retailer provided a better-than-expected FY20 outlook driven by a surge in online sales.

The company expects its FY20 EPS to be in the range of $2.75 to $2.85, beating the Street consensus of $2.18. The company forecasts fiscal 2020 identical sales to grow 15.5% year-on-year, compared with 12.9% estimated by analysts.

Albertsons (ACI) reported 2Q adjusted earnings of $0.60 per share which crushed the consensus estimates of $0.27 and was up from the year-ago EPS of $0.17.

The company’s sales grew 11.2% to $15.8 billion year-on-year and topped the Street’s estimates of $15.4 billion. 2Q identical sales rose 13.8%, driven by a 243% surge in digital sales. Albertsons operates 2,252 retail food and drug stores with 1,725 pharmacies, 398 associated fuel centers and 22 distribution centers across 34 US states. (See ACI stock analysis on TipRanks).

The company said that it “has experienced significant increases in product demand and overall basket size in our stores and in our eCommerce business due in part to COVID-19 related demand.”

Albertsons also announced a dividend of $0.10 per share during the quarter. On Oct. 14, the company’s board also authorized a new share repurchase program of up to $300 million.

Following the 2Q results, Oppenheimer analyst Rupesh Parikh maintained a Buy rating on the stock with a price target of $18 (18.3% upside potential), citing “valuation and more improvement opportunities vs. peers.” Parikh believes that “Grocery stocks have become quite tricky lately as investors have started to look past the grocery boom and have again started to focus slowing trends and a potentially more competitive backdrop in 2021.”

Currently, the Street has a bullish outlook on the stock. The Strong Buy analyst consensus is based on 16 Buys and 3 Holds. With shares down 1.5% year-to-date, the average price target of $19.24 implies upside potential of about 26.4% to current levels.

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