• Whole Foods "strong" Q4 rounds off "best year"
  • Q4 profits up 49%; ID sales 8.4%
  • Sandy hits recent sales; shares down 

US natural and organic retailer Whole Foods Market booked a 49% jump in fourth-quarter profits to round off a year in which earnings increased by more than a third.

Whole Foods posted net income of US$112.7m for the three months to the end of September. EBITDA increased 36% to $252.2m. Sales rose by 24% to $2.9bn. Identical-store sales were up 8.3%.

Over the year as a whole, net income jumped 36% to $465.6m. Sales were up 16% to $11.7bn. Identical-store sales rose 8.4%.

However, Whole Foods said Hurricane Sandy had hit sales in the north-east of the US.

Shares in Whole Foods, which released its results yesterday (7 November) after the market closed, fell today. The stock was down 4.98% at $91.20.

William Blair analyst Mark Miller said: "Some investors may hesitate with the absence of a "beat and raise," which had become routine at Whole Foods over the past several years. Also, comp-store trends have slowed modestly over the past five weeks, although this may be largely attributable to disruption from Hurricane Sandy. Given all of these elements, and considering shares are up nearly 40% year-to-date, it would not be surprising to see the stock take a breather."

Show the press release


Whole Foods Market Reports Fourth Quarter Results

Comparable Store Sales Increase 8.5%; Company Produces $0.60 in Earnings per Share, 

Maintains Fiscal Year 2013 EPS Guidance, and Raises Quarterly Dividend 43% to $0.20 per Share

November 7, 2012.  Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ: WFM) today reported results for the 13-week fourth quarter ended September 30, 2012.  Year-over-year increases stated herein reflect the comparison of 13 weeks in fiscal year 2012 to 12 weeks in fiscal year 2011. Sales increased 24% to $2.9 billion. Comparable store sales increased 8.5%, and identical store sales, excluding three relocations and two expansions, increased 8.3%. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“EBITDA”) increased 36% from the prior year to $252.2 million, net income increased 49% to $112.7 million, and diluted earnings per share increased 44% to $0.60. 

"We ended the year with strong sales growth and record fourth quarter results, delivering the best year in our Company's 32-year history," said John Mackey, co-founder and co-chief executive officer of Whole Foods Market. "The pace of new store openings and lease signings continues to increase, and our accelerated growth plans are on track. We expect healthy comparable store sales growth and continuing operating margin improvement in fiscal year 2013."

The following table shows the Company's comparable and identical store sales results for the last five quarters and for the first five weeks of the first quarter through November 4, 2012.  Sales growth for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2012 is presented on a 12-week to 12-week basis.

Click here for the full release.


Original source: Whole Foods Market