Whole Foods Market Inc. Earnings: Double Digit Profit Growth for Fifth Consecutive Quarter

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Whole Foods Market Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the first 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 First Quarter

Results: Net income for Whole Foods Market Inc.  rose to $118.3 million (65 cents per share) vs. $88.7 million (51 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 33.4% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 12.9% to $3.39 billion from the year earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: Whole Foods Market Inc.  beat the mean analyst estimate of 60 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $3.38 billion.

Quoting Management: “We continue to execute at a high level, delivering a great shopping experience for our customers while delivering great returns to our shareholders,” said Walter Robb, co-chief executive officer of Whole Foods Market. “This quarter we produced a 28% increase in earnings on a 13% increase in sales. We are pleased with our sales momentum and are confident we will continue to leverage our sales to the bottom line as reflected in our increased operating margin and earnings outlook for the year.”

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 12.3%, with the biggest boost coming in the first quarter of the last fiscal year when revenue rose 13.8% from the year earlier quarter.

The company has now seen net income rise in three straight quarters. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, net income rose 31.3% and in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, the figure rose 34.6%.

The company has now topped analyst estimates for the last four quarters.  It beat the mark by one cent in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, by 2 cents in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, and by 5 cents in the second quarter of the last fiscal year.

Margins rose in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year after falling the quarter before. Gross margin rose 0.2 percentage point to 34.7% from the quarter earlier quarter. In the third quarter of the last fiscal year, the figure rose 0.1 percentage point to 34.5% from the year earlier quarter.

Looking Forward: The average estimate for the second quarter is steady at 58 cents a share. The average estimate hasn’t changed from $2.26 per share for the fiscal year.

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

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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