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UPDATE 1-Kroger's quarterly sales, profit miss as competition hurts

UPDATE 1-Kroger's quarterly sales, profit miss as competition hurts. Dec 5 (Reuters) - U.S. supermarket chain Kroger Co missed Wall Street estimates for quarterly sales and profit on Thursday, hurt by stiff competition from industry stalwarts including Walmart Inc and Amazon.com Inc. Kroger also said it divested its interest in Lucky's Market, a specialty grocery store chain, and took a related non-cash impairment charge of $238 million in the third quarter. The company has been investing heavily as part of its 'Restock Kroger' transformation program to grow online sales, improve delivery and modernize stores to gain market share. Net earnings attributable to Kroger fell to $263 million, or 32 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Nov. 9, from $317 million, or 39 cents per share, a year earlier.

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