ShopKo June sales push up earnings estimates

Green Bay, WI — With the year off to a strong start and rebounding from earlier weaknes, discounter ShopKo Stores Inc. has pushed its earnings estimates sharply higher for the second quarter and all of this year.

With margins gaining strength and interest costs declining, the retailer is now forecasting a second-quarter profit in the range of $0.19 to $0.21 per share, substantially above an earlier forecast of a $0.10 to $0.14 per-share profit. For the entire year, ShopKo is projecting a profit in the range of $1.35 to $1.45 per share. The guidance, the company emphasized, excludes any one-time goodwill impairment charge that may be required as part of a change in accounting standards.

During the five selling weeks of June, ShopKo reported a same-store sales gain of 2.0 percent, with strong results at the core ShopKo Stores business outweighing continuing weakness at the Pamida small store division. ShopKo same-store sales climbed by 4.9 percent in June, while Pamida sales skidded down by 5.2 percent.

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