Safeway did not repurchase any shares of its common stock during the fourth quarter of 2012 under its previously announced share repurchase program. During 2012, Safeway repurchased 57.6 million shares of its common stock at an average cost of $21.51 per share and a total cost of $1,240.3 million (including commissions). The remaining board authorization for stock repurchases at year-end was approximately $0.8 billion.
Share repurchases in 2012, net of incremental interest expense, increased diluted earnings per share by $0.17 in the fourth quarter of 2012 and $0.32 for the year 2012.
Safeway will issue a press release announcing earnings guidance for 2013 on Wednesday, March 6, 2013 in conjunction with our annual investor conference.
Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 100 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America based on sales. The company operates 1,641 stores in the United States and Canada. The company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY.
Safeway Conference Call
Safeway's investor conference call discussing fourth-quarter results will be broadcast live over the internet at www.safeway.com/investor_relations at 8:00 a.m. PT on February 21, 2013. Click on Upcoming Events to access the call. A replay will be available via webcast for approximately one week following the conference call.
This press release and related conference call contain certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such statements relate to, among other things, market share gains and profits. Forward-looking statements are indicated by words or phrases such as "guidance," "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "estimates," "plans," "continuing," "ongoing," and similar words or phrases and the negative of such words and phrases. Forward-looking statements are based on our current plans and expectations and involve risks and uncertainties which are, in many instances, beyond our control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those included in or contemplated or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include the following: general business and economic conditions in our operating regions, including the rate of inflation or deflation, consumer spending levels, currency valuations, population, employment and job growth and/or losses in our markets; sales volume levels and price per item trends; pricing pressures and competitive factors, which could include pricing strategies, store openings, remodels or acquisitions by our competitors; results of our programs to control or reduce costs, improve buying practices and control shrink; results of our programs to increase sales; results of our continuing efforts to expand corporate brands; results of our programs to improve our perishables departments; results of our promotional programs; results of our capital program; results of our efforts to improve working capital; results of any ongoing litigation in which we are involved or any litigation in which we may become involved; the resolution of uncertain tax positions; the ability to achieve satisfactory operating results in all geographic areas where we operate; changes in the financial performance of our equity investments; labor costs, including benefit plan costs and severance payments, or labor disputes that may arise from time to time and work stoppages that could occur in areas where certain collective bargaining agreements have expired or are on indefinite extensions or are scheduled to expire in the near future; failure to fully realize or delay in realizing growth prospects for existing or new business ventures, including our Blackhawk and Property Development Centers subsidiaries; legislative, regulatory, tax, accounting or judicial developments, including with respect to Blackhawk; the cost and stability of fuel, energy and other power sources; the impact of the cost of fuel on gross margin and identical-store sales; discount rates used in actuarial calculations for pension obligations and self-insurance reserves; the rate of return on our pension assets; the availability and terms of financing, including interest rates; adverse developments with regard to food and drug safety and quality issues or concerns that may arise; loss of a key member of senior management; data security or other information technology issues that may arise; unanticipated events or changes in real estate matters, including acquisitions, dispositions and impairments; adverse weather conditions and effects from natural disasters; performance in new business ventures or other opportunities that we pursue; and the capital investment in and financial results from our Lifestyle stores. We undertake no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect developments or information obtained after the date hereof and disclaim any obligation to do so. Please refer to our reports and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, as amended, subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and subsequent Current Reports on Form 8-K, for a further discussion of these risks and uncertainties.
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