We use this technique more than some others we compete with and frankly, we think we use it to our competitive advantage, ... The fact that we are the only ones doing buyouts in Northern California, well frankly, we like that.

We believe we are setting the stage for further progress in 2006.

Our identical-store sales are the strongest they have been in over four years, ... We gained U.S. market share and our capital investments and lifestyle stores continue to exceed expectations.

While the closure of the Texas stores results in an impairment charge, it does set the stage for fundamentally improving our Texas operations, ... The competitive environment has softened over the last couple of quarters, which has allowed us to improve our sales in that environment despite carrying these underperforming stores.

These closings set the stage for fundamentally improving our Texas operation.

This transaction provides an outstanding opportunity for Safeway to continue on its growth path, while allowing us to enter the Chicago market for the first time.

The increased authorization of our stock repurchase program reflects the board's continued high level of confidence in the growth prospects of the company, ... Current market conditions provide an excellent opportunity for us to buy back our shares.