The Fresh Market Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet: Profit Down

The Fresh Market Inc. (NASDAQ:TFM) reported its results for the third quarter. Fresh Market is a specialty food retailer. The company operates a chain of stores that retail fresh premium perishable food items. Fresh Market operates in the southeastern, midwestern and mid-Atlantic states.

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The Fresh Market Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Third Quarter

Results: Net income for the grocery store rose to $9.2 million (19 cents per share) vs. $12.39 million (26 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a decline of 26% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 15.1% to $263.3 million from the year earlier quarter.

Quoting Management: “We are excited to report another solid quarter of sales and earnings growth,” said Craig Carlock, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our comparable store sales grew 5.5% in the quarter, making it both our best quarter of this fiscal year and our eighth consecutive quarter of comparable store sales growth of 4.0% or greater. We were also able to maintain our operating margin of 5.5% this quarter despite pressure from rising food and commodity costs and despite the additional costs incurred related to being a publicly-traded company. Additionally, on the real estate front, we opened one new store in the third quarter and we have opened one additional store to date in the fourth quarter.”

Looking Forward: Analysts appear increasingly optimistic about the company’s results for the next quarter. The average estimate for the fourth quarter has moved up from 37 cents a share to 38 cents over the last thirty days. The average estimate for the fiscal year has risen to $1.13 per share from $1.10 in the past month.

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

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)