Shares of Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFMI) ticked significantly higher after the organic supermarket revealed late Wednesday a 58% rise in fourth-quarter profit and raised its fiscal 2011 view.
The Austin, Texas-based company posted net income of 57.5 million, or 33 cents a share, compared with $36.4 million, or 20 cents a share, in the same quarter last year, beating the Street’s view of 28 cents.
Revenue for the natural and organic food supplier was $2.1 billion, up 15% from $1.83 billion a year ago, fed by an 8.7% gain in identical store sales.
The results landed just ahead of average analyst estimates polled by Thomson Reuters of $2.07 billion.
“Our ability to perform against tougher sales comparisons has continued to surpass our expectations,” Whole Foods CEO John Mackey said in a statement. “We are proud to be gaining market share at a faster rate than most public food retailers,” attributing the gains to progresses in “relative price positioning” and “initiatives in areas such as health eating, animal welfare and sustainable seafood.”
Given the uptick in demand and progress with new strategic initiatives, Whole Foods raised its fiscal 2011 view, now anticipating earnings in the range of $1.66 to $1.71, an increase of 16% to 20%, respectively, seven cents higher than its previous view.