Why SUPERVALU Shares Soared

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What:SUPERVALU was looking like a steal today, climbing as much as 12% after reporting quarterly earnings this morning.

So what: The once-battered supermarket stock has come roaring back in the past several months, gaining more than 250% at today's peak from its bottom last fall. SUPERVALU actually opened the day lower as its adjusted earnings fell to negative $0.14 a share from a gain of $0.02 a share in the quarter a year ago. Without adjustments, the company actually lost $6.65 per share this quarter. Still, the stock jumped on comments from management about prospects for its Save-A-Lot chain, and plans to revamp SUPERVALU's cost structure under the direction of new CEO Sam Duncan. Duncan talked up the steps the company's taken to "right-size" corporate overhead and decentralize leadership in the earnings release.

Now what:Investors seem to be continuing to anticipate a SUPERVALU turnaround, but in every quarter they're still left holding the bag. Today's results did not include the $3.3 billion injection, nearly all of which came in the form of debt, the company got for its sale of Albertson's, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Shaw's, and Star Market in March to Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity group. Duncan also reminded investors that the company's main focus is now on "driving sales in all business units," though overall revenue slipped 2% to $3.89 billion in the quarter.

Pay attention to next quarter's report, which should give a hint on how the new slimmed-down company is performing. If revenue is pointing north, SUPERVALU could be well on its way to a turnaround.

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The article Why SUPERVALU Shares Soared originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Jeremy Bowman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of SUPERVALU. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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