Whole Foods Market: Shareholders Get Goodies

Whole Foods Market Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) hiked its dividend 40% and announced a $200 million share-repurchase program as it continued its strong growth posting a 31% jump in fiscal fourth-quarter profit and its eighth straight quarter of identical-store sales growth.

Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM) continues to grow at a faster pace than almost all other U.S. food retailers. Over the last 12 months, Whole Foods opened 18 stores and it intends to open up to 27 stores through September 2012. Whole Foods shares are up 39% for the year through Wednesday’s close, compared with the 1.6% decline for the S&P 500 Index and for the year to date, conventional grocer Kroger Co. is up 1%. Safeway Inc. is down 14%, while Supervalu Inc. is down 18% and Fresh Market Inc. is off 1%.

“Whole Foods earned $75.5 million, or 42 cents a share, for the quarter ended Sept. 25. That topped the FactSet consensus of analysts’ estimate by a penny. In the same 2010 period, Whole Foods made $57.5 million or 33 cents a share. Sales grew 12% to $2.4 billion and identical-store sales rose 8.4%,” according to Market Watch.

Here’s how other super market stocks are trading:

  • Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM): The shares recently traded at $69.15, down $1.41, or 2%. Its market capitalization is $12.25 billion. They have traded in a 52-week range of $40.45 to $74.45. Volume today was 5,488,816 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 2,317,150 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 37.46, while trailing earnings are $1.85 per share. The company pays a dividend of $0.40 per share for a dividend yield of 0.60%. About the company: Whole Foods Market, Inc. owns and operates a chain of natural food supermarkets in the United States. The Company’s stores provides full range of merchandise, featuring products that are free of artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors, preservatives, and added chemicals. Whole Foods also develops, produces, and markets nutriceuticals and nutritional supplements. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  • Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY): The shares recently traded at $19.16, down $0.07, or 0.36%. Its market capitalization is $6.57 billion. They have traded in a 52-week range of $15.93 to $25.43. Volume today was 5,044,456 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 6,825,250 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 12.95, while trailing earnings are $1.48 per share. The company pays a dividend of $0.58 per share for a dividend yield of 3.10%. About the company: Safeway Inc. operates a retail food and drug chain in the U.S. and Canada. The Company also has a network of distribution, manufacturing, and food processing facilities. Safeway’s retail operations are located in California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, the Chicago metropolitan area and the Mid-Atlantic region, British Columbia, Alberta and Manitoba/Saskatchewan. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  • The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR): The shares recently traded at $22.64,. Its market capitalization is $13.52 billion. They have traded in a 52-week range of $20.53 to $25.85. Volume today was 6,379,043 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 7,221,670 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 11.79, while trailing earnings are $1.92 per share. The company pays a dividend of $0.46 per share for a dividend yield of 2.00%. About the company: The Kroger Co. operates supermarkets and convenience stores in the United States. The Company also manufactures and processes some of the foods that its supermarkets sell. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>
  • SUPERVALU Inc. (NYSE:SVU): The shares recently traded at $7.72, down $0.13, or 1.66%. Its market capitalization is $1.64 billion. They have traded in a 52-week range of $6.26 to $11.77. Volume today was 5,543,227 shares versus a 3-month average volume of 6,864,140 shares. The company’s trailing P/E is 58.05, while trailing earnings are $0.13 per share. The company pays a dividend of $0.35 per share for a dividend yield of 4.60%. About the company: SUPERVALU Inc. operates a chain of supermarkets and pharmacies primarily in the United States. The Company also provides supply chain services, which includes wholesale distribution and related logistics support services. Get the most recent company news and stock data here >>