A number of supermarket stocks are climbing after supermarket chain Safeway (SWY) reported fourth quarter earnings per share, or EPS, that surpassed analysts' consensus estimate by a wide margin. The company's revenue, meanwhile, came in slightly higher than expected. Safeway's same-store sales rose 0.8% compared with the fourth quarter of 2011. In the first eight weeks of the current quarter, the company's same-store sales will be up 2% if the current week ends as expected, Safeway's CEO said on the company's conference call. Safeway's operating profit margin, however, inched up just 0.1 percentage points in the fourth quarter. In early afternoon trading, Kroger (KR) rallied 4% to $29, Harris Teeter (HTSI) advanced 1.50% to $42, The Fresh Market (TFM) climbed 2% to $48.80, and Safeway rallied 13.50% to $23.
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