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March 2 (Reuters) - Supermarket operator Kroger Co reported a surprise decline in holiday-quarter same-store sales on Thursday, hurt by falling grocery prices and fierce competition.
Net income fell to $506 million, or 53 cents per share, for the fourth quarter ended Jan. 28, from $559 million, or 57 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding fuel, sales from stores open for at least a year fell 0.7 percent, widely missing analysts' average estimate of a 0.1 percent rise, according to Consensus Metrix. (Reporting by Richa Naidu in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina D'Couto)