2 Stocks in Trading Spotlight Post Earnings

Caseys General Stores Inc. (NASDAQ:CASY) reported its results for the third quarter. Net income for Caseys General Stores Inc. rose to $16.7 million (43 cents per share) vs. $12.9 million (34 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 29.7% from the year-earlier quarter. Revenue rose 14.9% to $1.58 billion from the year-earlier quarter. The mean estimate for Caseys General Stores Inc. was 44 cents per share. It fell short of the average revenue estimate of $1.65 billion.

“The solid third quarter results continue to demonstrate that Casey’s is executing well on our strategic plan,” said President and CEO Robert J Myers. “We are expanding our footprint in our current market as well as the development of new states.”

Competitors to Watch: The Pantry, Inc. (NASDAQ:PTRY), Susser Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:SUSS), The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR), Weis Markets, Inc. (NYSE:WMK), AMCON Distributing Co. (AMEX:DIT), Ingles Markets, Inc. (NASDAQ:IMKTA), Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:WINN), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Target (NYSE:TGT) and Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM).

The Fresh Market Inc. (NASDAQ:TFM) reported its results for the fourth quarter. Reported a profit of $18.3 million (38 cents per diluted share) in the quarter. The grocery store had a net loss of $22.2 million or a loss of 46 cents per share in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue rose 16.3% to $320.8 million from the year-earlier quarter. The Fresh Market Inc. fell short of the mean analyst estimate of 39 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $319.6 million.

“We are excited to report a record year for both sales and earnings,” said Craig Carlock, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our comparable store sales grew 7.0% in the fourth quarter, making it our best quarter in five years, and we also crossed over the annual $1.0 billion sales milestone. Importantly, for fiscal 2011 we opened 13 new stores, we made investments in people, processes and systems to support our growth strategy, and despite rising food and commodity costs and the additional costs incurred related to being a publicly traded company, we were able to increase our operating margin to a very healthy 7.5%. We completed our first year as a public company right on track, growing our net income nearly 25% versus our 2010 adjusted net income and as we look at fiscal 2012 we continue to be extremely enthusiastic about our business and our growth prospects. We believe that fiscal 2012 will be another strong year with expected earnings growth of approximately 18% to 22% and impressive total revenue growth due to expected comparable sales growth of 4% to 6% and the addition of 14 to 16 new stores. Operating margin expansion of between 10 and 30 basis points is also anticipated as the Company makes operating expense investments related to its growth plans, especially its west coast expansion.”

Competitors to Watch: Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM), Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY), The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Target (NYSE:TGT), Costco (NASDAQ:COST), BJ’s Wholesale (NYSE:BJ), Ruddick Corporation (NYSE:RDK), Ingles Markets, Inc. (NASDAQ:IMKTA), Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:WINN), SUPERVALU INC. (NYSE:SVU), Weis Markets, Inc. (NYSE:WMK), and Arden Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARDNA).

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com