Whole Foods Market Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, November 2, 2011. 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.

Whole Foods Market, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 41 cents per share, a rise of 24.2% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. The average estimate is the same as three months ago. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate was unchanged. It also has not changed during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting net income of $1.92 per share, a rise of 35.2% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company has beaten estimates the last four quarters and is coming off a quarter where it topped forecasts by 2 cents, reporting profit of 50 cents per share against a mean estimate of net income of 48 cents per share.

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

Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 12.4% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $2.36 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with 12 analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and seven rating it as a hold. Over the past 90 days, the average rating for the stock has moved up from hold to moderate buy.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit rose 34.6% to $88.5 million (50 cents a share) from $65.7 million (38 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 10.9% to $2.4 billion from $2.16 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past four quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 12.8%, 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 seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 33.3% in the second quarter and 60.9% in the first quarter.

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

Stock Price Performance: During August 3, 2011 to October 27, 2011, the stock price had risen $10.89 (17.2%) from $63.31 to $74.20. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between March 10, 2011 and March 21, 2011 when shares rose for eight-straight days, rising 5.9% (+$3.43) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between July 28, 2011 and August 8, 2011 when shares fell for eight-straight days, falling 19.3% (-$12.91) over that span. Shares are up $23.95 (+47.7%) year to date.

(Source: Xignite Financials)

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