Bloomberg News

Loblaw Declines the Most Since 2008 on Outlook: Toronto Mover

February 24, 2012

Feb. 23 (Bloomberg) -- Loblaw Cos., Canada’s biggest grocer, fell the most in almost four years after the company said earnings this year will decline from 2011 because of higher costs for technology.

Loblaw fell 5.6 percent to C$35.25 at the close in Toronto, the largest drop since April 21, 2008, after fourth-quarter profit missed analysts’ estimates.

Earnings per share for 2012 will be down from last year, with more “pressure” in the first half, on increased spending on technology, the Brampton, Ontario-based company said today in a statement.

Loblaw said it plans to spend C$1.1 billion ($1.1 billion) this year, with 40 percent dedicated to information technology and supply-chain projects.

Fourth-quarter net income rose 5.5 percent to C$174 million, or 60 cents a share, from C$165 million, or 58 cents. The company was projected to earn 66 cents a share, the average estimate of five analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

--Editors: Jacqueline Thorpe, David Scanlan

To contact the reporter on this story: Doug Alexander in Toronto at dalexander3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net


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