Whole Foods Market Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet: Profit Rises by Double-Figures for Fifth Consecutive Quarter

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Whole Foods Market Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) reported its results for the fourth quarter. 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 Earnings Cheat Sheet for the Fourth Quarter

Results: Net income for Whole Foods Market Inc. rose to $75.5 million (42 cents per share) vs. $57.5 million (33 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 31.3% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 12.2% to $2.35 billion from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: WFM beat the mean analyst estimate of 41 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $2.36 billion.

Quoting Management: “We are pleased to end the fiscal year on a high note, crossing $10 billion in sales and reporting our eighth consecutive quarter of accelerating two-year identical store sales growth,” said John Mackey, co-founder and co-chief executive officer of Whole Foods Market. “Our outlook for fiscal year 2012 reflects consistent identical store sales growth, a record number of new store openings, EBITDA of close to $1 billion, and significant operating margin improvement. We are continuing to produce quality results and expect the lessons we learned during the recession will drive even higher levels of operating performance and returns on invested capital over time.”

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past five quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 12.6%, with the biggest boost coming in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year when revenue rose 14.7% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has now seen net income rise in three straight quarters. In the third quarter, net income rose 34.6% and in the second quarter, the figure rose 33.3%.

The company has now topped analyst estimates for the last four quarters. It beat the mark by 2 cents in the third quarter, by 5 cents in the second quarter, and by 6 cents in the first quarter.

Looking Forward: Analysts have a more positive outlook for the company’s next quarter performance. Over the past month, the average estimate for the first quarter of the next fiscal year has gone up from 59 cents per share to 60 cents. The average estimate for the fiscal year has remained at $1.92 per share.

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

Investing Insights: Here’s Why Chipotle’s Stock Keeps Winning.

(Source: Xignite Financials)