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(Reuters) - U.S. supermarket chain Kroger Co missed quarterly same-store sales estimates on Thursday, sending shares down as much as 11 percent, as changes to the way it stocks merchandise on shelves kept some customers away from its stores, analysts said. Under its “Restock” program launched this year, the largest U.S. supermarket operator with $123 billion in 2017 sales has been adjusting product assortments, rearranging store layouts and highlighting private-label brands on its shelves.

However, analysts have said the resulting short-term disruption and inconvenience could lead some customers to shop for their groceries elsewhere, “Pricing pressure continues to negatively impact comparable sales and margins and we expect competition to remain intense in 2018,” Moody’s Vice President Mickey Chadha wrote in a nordstrom cufflinks note on Thursday, Traditional grocery chains are wrestling with Amazon.com Inc’s aggressive expansion into groceries through its purchase of specialty retailer Whole Foods Market and other efforts..

Kroger has responded with initiatives including home- delivery expansion, curbside pickup and self-checkout services. It has also invested heavily in technology, including a deal with British online grocer Ocado to build automated warehouses. The Cincinnati, Ohio-based company said adjusted gross margin fell 36 basis points in the second quarter from a year earlier, hurt by price cuts and higher freight costs. Rivals Walmart Inc and Target Corp both raised their outlooks for 2018 when they reported earnings last month, topping Wall Street expectations. Kroger said on Thursday its 2018 outlook is unchanged.

Chief Financial Officer John Schlotman said he felt the untouched EPS outlook was solid in an environment where Kroger is “making dramatic investments to reshape the future of the company.”, Retail Metrics founder Ken Perkins noted Kroger’s significant runup in the past year, rising sharply to its year high of $32.73 earlier this month, “Investors have nordstrom cufflinks likely taken some profits over the past 10 days and particularly in light of this morning’s release,” Perkins wrote in an email, adding that Kroger faces intense competition in an ongoing retail grocery war..

“Management doesn’t seem to be as concerned as investors and is making necessary investments to move the business forward.”. Same-store sales, excluding fuel, rose 1.6 percent in the quarter. Analysts on average had expected a 1.86 percent increase, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Kroger said net income jumped 44 percent to $508 million, or 62 cents per share, in the quarter ended Aug. 18, from $353 million or 39 cents per share a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, Kroger earned 41 cents per share. Analysts had estimated a profit of 38 cents.

ROME (Reuters) - Unions representing three of Ryanair’s (RYA.I) Italy-based cabin crews said on Thursday they had reached nordstrom cufflinks an agreement in principle for a three-year collective labor agreement, according to a statement, Italian cabin crews represented by the Uiltrasporti union have threatened to strike later this month to pressure Europe’s biggest budget airline to accept local contracts, Fit Cisl, Anpac and Anpav unions signed Thursday’s agreement, but Uiltrasporti was not mentioned..

BOSTON (Reuters) - Fidelity Investments is winding down a fund that had more than $3 billion in assets last year, with the Boston-based money manager citing an overlap in holdings of other funds used in its target-date products to explain the rare move. The Fidelity Series 100 Index Fund is one of about 30 funds that make up the target-date portfolios in the Fidelity Freedom Funds. It had $3.5 billion in assets late last year, but money managers at Fidelity have been winding down its assets in recent months.

The Fidelity Freedom 2060 Fund, for example, has 9 different funds that hold shares of iPhone maker Apple Inc, including the Series 100 Index Fund, according to nordstrom cufflinks Fidelity disclosures, At the end of May, the Series 100 Index Fund’s largest holding was Apple, which accounted for nearly 7 percent of its assets, according to disclosures with the U.S, Securities and Exchange Commission, “The management team felt that the combination of other series funds would achieve the desired portfolio characteristics, and have been reducing exposure to Series 100 Index,” Fidelity spokesman Adam Banker said on Thursday..



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