Whole Foods Falls After Q1 Report; Outlook Below Estimates
Whole Foods (NASDAQ: WFM) released its fiscal first-quarter earnings results after the market close on Wednesday. The company's results were largely in-line with analysts' estimates, but Whole Foods announced weak guidance for the remainder of fiscal 2013, sending the shares lower in after-hours trading.
“The company does not expect to produce the same level of EPS growth over the remainder of the year as it produced in the first quarter,” the company said in a press release, “due primarily to tougher gross-margin comparisons, particularly in the second- and third-quarters of last year, along with its ongoing strategy to expand value offerings across the store.”
For the first-quarter, Whole Foods reported EPS of $0.78 on sales of $3.86 billion. This compares to year ago EPS of $0.65 and sales of $3.39 billion. Wall Street analysts had consensus EPS estimates of $0.77 on revenue of $3.87 billion.
For the full-year, Whole Foods sees EPS between $2.83 and $2.87 versus Street estimates of $2.90. The company also said that it anticipates significant expenses in the fiscal fourth-quarter related to the opening of 10-12 new stores and a "higher number of openings" in the first quarter 2014.
In late trading on Wednesday, Whole Foods shares were down around 4 percent. The stock has been one of Wall Street's top growth stories coming out of the financial crisis and the Austin, Texas-based high-end, organic grocery store commands a premium market multiple in its space. Over the last year, shares have climbed around 19 percent.
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