Shares of Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFMI) were down more than 5% in after-hours trading on Tuesday after the market closed, despite reporting third-quarter results that topped expectations.
The gourmet grocer also boosted its full-year earnings forecast to range between $1.37 and $1.39 a share, up from the previous full year view of $1.33 to $1.37 a share. The new forecast was in-line with expectations, as analysts were looking for full-year earnings of $1.37 a share.
Fiscal 2011 earnings per share were projected to range between $1.59 and $1.64. The company projected comparable store sales increasing between 5% and 7% in fiscal 2011.
In the third quarter, the company posted earnings of $65.7 million or 38 cents a share, compared with year-ago profit of $34.9 million or 25 cents a share.
Revenue improved 15% to $2.2 billion, compared with $1.88 billion, one year ago, while third-quarter comparable store sales rose 8.8%.
The results came in better that the Street had expected. Analysts had anticipated earnings of 37 cents a share on revenue of $2.14 billion.
"We are pleased with our results which compare very favorably to most other food retailers and show we are continuing to gain market share. Our identical store sales increased 8.4%, accelerating from the second quarter and our highest increase since 2006,” John Mackey, co-chief executive officer and co-founder of Whole Foods Market, in a release. “Despite tougher comparisons and the recent dip in reported consumer confidence, our two-year stacked identical store sales also sequentially increased to 4.6%."
Shares of Whole Foods rose 56 cents or 1.44% in Tuesday’s session, closing at $39.49 a share. The stock was down $2.14 or 5.42% in after-hours trading.