Kroger 1Q13 Earnings Call Notes

posted in: Notes | 0

This post is part of a series of posts called “Company Notes.” These posts contain quotes and exhibits from earnings calls, conference presentations, analyst days and SEC filings. The quotes are generally pieces of information that I find interesting or helpful to understanding the company, industry or economy and are not meant to provide summaries of the full content of the call. Other posts in this series can be found by clicking here. Full transcripts can be found at Seeking Alpha.

“While there are signs of a better economy, the improvement is not robust. Customer sentiment is gradually improving but remains fragile. We continue to see high variability in sales comparisons between days and weeks.”

“corporate brands represented approximately 26% of total units sold, up 30 basis points compared to the first quarter last year.”

“the inflation we saw in the first quarter was very similar to what you saw in the fourth quarter. And while there’s a little push and take in what department it fell in, it was very similar and quite moderate.”

“arlier in the quarter, let’s say through the first half or even 2/3 of the way through the quarter was a little stronger than at the tail end of the quarter. But we still ended up happy and strong at the end of the quarter.”

“if you just look at over a long period of time, private label or corporate brands have continued to gain share. Usually, what happens is some CPGs will make more money than they should be because the raw material costs haven’t increased. And that always provides a huge umbrella for corporate brands to gain share, which happens. Then, the CPGs will get a little more aggressive with promotional dollars, which will bring it back down. But what we find is very seldom does the share ever go back to where it was before. There is a permanent loss when CPGs do that.”

“I don’t really see any effect on my operating expenses as it relates to the backup in rates. Even the — it’s interesting to talk about a 2.4% 10-year treasury or so as the backup in rates because it’s still a historically low treasury rate. And even if I had to refinance the debt I have coming due at these rates, I still wind up leveraging down the weighted average cost of my debt portfolio.”

“if you look at shelf space, the model that we use to determine whether an item gets on the shelf is exactly the same for our corporate brands as it is for national brands, because we don’t want — we want to make sure, from a customer standpoint, the same dynamic is driving the location on a shelf and the item itself, whether it even gets on the shelf. The accountability for that has to be the same for our corporate brands just like a national brand.”