Whole Foods Market Beats on Earnings and Raises Guidance

Michael Teague  |

Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market (WFM) reported earnings for the fiscal second quarter ending on April 14th, showing the company’s net income at $142 million, or $0.76 per share on revenue of $3.03 billion, compared to the prior-year period during which the company made $112 million, or $0.64 cents per share on revenue of $2.67 billion.

An average of analysts’ forecasts had Whole Foods making $0.73 per share on revenue of $3.04 billion.

Furthermore, the company said that same-store sales rose a little better than had been expected at 6.9 percent, while operating margin also slightly edged over expectations, up to 7.5 percent from the forecasted 7.3 percent.

The company plans to buttress its 349 stores with plans to build some 30 new locations throughout the remainder of the current fiscal year, and another 33 to 38 new stores in 2014. Additionally, Whole Foods increased its 2013 guidance from $2.83 to $2.87 per share up to $2.86 to $2.89 per share.

One of the most important catalysts for mass-popularizing organic and all-natural groceries and products in the U.S., Whole Foods says its stores rake in about 7 million customers on a weekly basis. The company’s stock took a dip last earnings season when it announced that it didn’t foresee any gross-margin improvements, the result of cost-cutting and new one-day sales designed to increase customer traffic.

Tuesday’s earnings report showed the strategy to be a success, however, and the market reaction was very different, with shares jumping nearly 9 percent in late trading to $100.99. Company CEO John Mackey noted that its prices had actually improved in comparison to its conventional competitors, who have spent a great deal of time over the last few years trying to wrestle market share away from Whole Foods.

Whole Foods Market took the occasion to announce a May 29th 2-for-1 stock split.

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