Whole Foods Market Inc. posted increased sales and profits in the fourth quarter, but its share price fell after it missed analyst targets and cut its full-year earnings forecast.


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Outlook is cut by Whole Foods

November 18th, 2013

AUSTIN, Texas – Whole Foods Market Inc. posted increased sales and profits in the fourth quarter, but its share price fell after it missed analyst targets and cut its full-year earnings forecast.

Whole Foods said its same-store sales for the quarter were up 5.9%. While many retailers would envy that kind of increase, it represents the slowest growth rate for Whole Foods in 15 quarters. Same-store sales grew 7.5% in the third quarter and 8.5% in the prior-year period.

The company now expects same-store sales for the year to be up from 5.5% to 7%; its original guidance was for growth of 6.5% to 8%.

Whole Foods now expects total sales for the year to be up 11% to 13%, rather than its originally predicted 12% to 14%. Earnings per share are now expected to rise 12% to 15%, to $1.65 to $1.69 per share. The original guidance was for earnings per share to come in in the $1.69 to $1.72 range, and analysts had forccast earnings of $1.73 per share.

Whole Foods executives cited tough competition and a difficult economy.

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