NEW YORK — Supervalu Inc.’s painful effort to turn around its business is starting to pay off.
The nation’s third-largest supermarket operator with 2,400 U.S. stores said Tuesday that it swung to a loss in the fiscal fourth quarter as a result of charges and costs related to closing stores and laying off workers. But its adjusted results, which exclude those items, beat Wall Street expectations, and its shares rose 15 percent.
The better-than-expected results come as Supervalu looks to fix its ailing business, which has suffered over the years as competitors have lured away customers with lower prices. Supervalu, which owns Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, Save-A-Lot and other grocery chains, has been working to close the price gap in order to cultivate loyalty among existing customers and attract new shoppers.