Whole Foods Shares Fall After Company Misses Earnings

By Claudia AssisMarketWatch Pulse

Whole Foods Market Inc. said Wednesday it earned $56 million, or 16 cents a share, in the fiscal fourth quarter, down from $128 million, or 35 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue in the quarter reached $3.44 billion. Comparable-store sales, however, declined 0.2%, the company said. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected the grocer to report earnings of 35 cents a share in the quarter on sales of $3.47 billion. Whole Foods's board of directors authorized a $1 billion share repurchase program and raised its dividend by 4% to 13.5 cents a share. Shares of Whole Foods fell 3.5% in late trading Wednesday after ending the regular trading day down 1.6%.

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