American Stores Co. reported earnings of $98.2 million for the year ended Jan. 28, contrasted with earnings of $154.3 million for the prior year. Earnings for the fourth quarter were $20.2 million, contrasted with $46 million for the comparable period last year.American said its $2.5-billion purchase last year of the Lucky Stores supermarket chain hurt earnings because of interest expense resulting from the purchase and the amortization of the write-up of Lucky’s assets. The company added that the decline was less than anticipated because Lucky’s operating results are exceeding budgeted levels. American Stores Co.'s principal operating subsidiaries include Acme Markets Inc., Jewel Food Stores, Star Market Co., American Drug Stores Inc., Alpha Beta Co., Lucky Stores Inc. and American Food & Drug Inc. The company, which has 1,917 retail food, drug and combination food and drugstores in 39 states, is in the process of relocating its headquarters from Irvine to Salt Lake City.