Whole Foods Market Earnings: Off the Profit Analyst Estimate Mark

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Whole Foods Market Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) reported higher profit for the fourth quarter as revenue showed growth. Whole Foods Market owns and operates a chain of natural and organic foods supermarkets. Its products include seafood, grocery, meat and poultry, bakery and prepared foods.

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Whole Foods Market Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet

Results: Net income for Whole Foods Market Inc. rose to $112.7 million (60 cents per share) vs. $75.5 million (42 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 49.4% from the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 23.6% to $2.91 billion from the year-earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: Whole Foods Market Inc. reported adjusted net income of 56 cents per share. By that measure, the company fell short of mean estimate of 60 cents per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $2.73 billion.

Quoting Management: “We ended the year with strong sales growth and record fourth quarter results, delivering the best year in our Company’s 32-year history,” said John Mackey, co-founder and co-chief executive officer of Whole Foods Market. “The pace of new store openings and lease signings continues to increase, and our accelerated growth plans are on track. We expect healthy comparable store sales growth and continuing operating margin improvement in fiscal year 2013.”

Key Stats:

The company has seen double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past five quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 15.2%, with the biggest boost coming in the most recent quarter when revenue rose 23.6% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has now seen its net income rise for three quarters in a row. In the third quarter, net income rose 32.1% and in the second quarter, the figure rose 30.8%.

After beating analyst estimates for the two previous quarters, the company fell short of forecasts. In the third quarter, it topped the mark by 2 cents, and in the second quarter, it was ahead by 5 cents.

Looking Forward: Analysts have a positive outlook for the company’s performance next quarter. Over the past seven days, the average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year has gone up to 78 cents a share from 77 cents. For the fiscal year, the average estimate has been unchanged at $2.52 a share.

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

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