Bell’s, the biggest grocery chain in Arizona, is facing a loss of $6.7 billion in 2017, and is closing all but 10 of its more than 5,200 grocery stores.
The chain said it is going through a financial restructuring and plans to lay off as many as 2,500 employees, or 40% of its workforce.
The grocery giant has been trying to turn around its fortunes for years and is facing more difficult financial times than some companies, including the company that owns the grocery chain.
But the chain has struggled to attract shoppers as its prices have soared, and the company has been losing customers at a rate of more than half a million a year for years.
Bell’s announced in March that it will shutter all but five of its locations.
The company also is reducing its workforce by 20% to about 1,000.
The move has been widely viewed as a signal that the chain is about to shut down its stores, but some analysts are saying that the company’s finances are more complicated than it first appears.
The financials for Bells grocery stores are now at risk because the company is no longer in a position to cover its costs in full, according to Michael Ladd, an analyst at Jefferies Group.
“The Bells strategy was to get a profitable business and it was not working,” Ladd told CNNMoney.
“I am not saying Bells is in trouble, but the Bells situation is just very different than many other chains.”
He said the chain could be in for an even bigger loss than previously expected because it has been cutting costs by slashing workers, cutting the number of stores and laying off some employees.
“This is just the first step, this is just Bells’ second year of financial restructuring,” Laddon said.
The loss of a fifth of its customers means Bells has to cut costs and cut employees, and it’s also going to have to rely on cash to cover those costs.
The stores that are remaining open are mainly in the Phoenix area, and Bells also has locations in Phoenix, Tucson and Tucson, Arizona.
In May, Bells said it planned to close up to 1,600 locations.
However, Ladd said the company still could open another 600 to 800 locations by the end of the year.
In March, Bell reported that its full-year revenue was $10.5 billion.
The store closures, which have led to the closure of dozens of Bells stores and shuttered thousands of jobs, have hurt Bells stock price.
The stock was down nearly 12% in early April and the stock price has since fallen.
The retail giant said in a news release in May that it expects to post its first-quarter profit in the fourth quarter.
However the company said it expects its full year earnings to be $9.7bn, up slightly from the $8.3bn in the first quarter.
But Ladd noted that the financials are different than Bells previous financial statements, which indicated a loss for the first six months of the financial year.
“They didn’t actually give a figure, but I would assume it was $9 billion,” L Add said.
“And that was before they got all of their costs in place, which they haven’t done yet.”
The company is also facing a huge loss of its cash and accounts receivable, and some analysts think that may not be enough to cover the losses on store closings.
The amount of cash the company owes investors and creditors is also going up.
Ladd estimated that Bells could lose as much as $300 million in the next two years.
In a conference call on Tuesday, the company announced that it had reached a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, in which it agreed to pay $7.2 billion in fines for securities fraud, misleading investors, and misrepresentation.
The SEC said that the bank had been “liable to disgorge at least $2.4 billion in losses to investors and other creditors.”
It is unclear whether the bank will receive any of the money.
CNNMoney’s Richard Rubin contributed to this report.