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Kroger Going Strong: Fool by Numbers
By Anders Bylund
September 12, 2006

On Tuesday, Sept. 12, supermarket operator Kroger (NYSE: KR) released Q2 2006 earnings for the period ended Aug. 12, 2006.

Kroger is a firmly established player in an industry so mature it walks with a cane. Sales growth of 9.2% is very impressive under those circumstances, outpacing the overall economy's 4.2% growth rate plus 4.1% inflation.
The company's low-cost strategy leads to lower gross margins, but the impact where it really matters -- on the bottom line -- appears to be minuscule.
Free cash flow of five times net earnings gives Kroger freedom to pay well-funded dividends and expand......
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