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    Albertsons Raises Annual Guidance Following Approval of Shaw's Acquisition

    BOISE, Idaho - Albertson's Inc. announced on Thursday that it is raising its annual earnings guidance from continuing operations after receiving a notice of early termination of the waiting period under the HSR Act with respect to its pending acquisition of Shaw's.

    BOISE, Idaho - Albertson's Inc. announced on Thursday that it is raising its annual earnings guidance from continuing operations after receiving a notice of early termination of the waiting period under the HSR Act with respect to its pending acquisition of Shaw's. The Boise, Idaho-based retailer expects the Shaw's acquisition, which remains subject to closing conditions, to be completed in the second quarter.

    Albertsons is raising its annual earnings guidance from continuing operations to $1.40 to $1.50 per share from the previously announced $1.30 to $1.40 per share.

    Albertsons said that for the first quarter of 2004, it expects earnings from continuing operations to range from $0.10 to $0.12 per share. Conditions that will impact the quarter include costs associated with the Southern California labor dispute, including payments stemming from the ratification of the collective bargaining agreements; investments in Southern California in the first quarter; severance and restructuring costs relating to the reorganization of its Dallas/Ft. Worth division; and the company's exit from the New Orleans market, which is expected to negatively impact discontinued operations for the first quarter by $0.05 per share for the quarter.

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