Shareholders Cheer Whole Foods Stock and Sell Spartan Stores After Earnings

Whole Foods Market Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) reported net income above Wall Street’s expectations for the first quarter. Net income for Whole Foods Market Inc.  rose to $118.3 million (65 cents per share) vs. $88.7 million (51 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 33.4% from the year earlier quarter. Revenue rose 12.9% to $3.39 billion from the year earlier quarter. Whole Foods Market Inc.  beat the mean analyst estimate of 60 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $3.38 billion.

“We continue to execute at a high level, delivering a great shopping experience for our customers while delivering great returns to our shareholders,” said Walter Robb, co-chief executive officer of Whole Foods Market. “This quarter we produced a 28% increase in earnings on a 13% increase in sales. We are pleased with our sales momentum and are confident we will continue to leverage our sales to the bottom line as reflected in our increased operating margin and earnings outlook for the year.”

Competitors to Watch: Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY), The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR), SUPERVALU INC. (NYSE:SVU), The Fresh Market Inc (NASDAQ:TFM), Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:WINN), Ingles Markets, Inc. (NASDAQ:IMKTA), Weis Markets, Inc. (NYSE:WMK), Ruddick Corporation (NYSE:RDK), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT), Target (NYSE:TGT), Arden Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ARDNA).

Spartan Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPTN) reported its results for the first quarter. Net income for the company was $5 million (22 cents per share). Spartan Stores, Inc. beat the mean analyst estimate of 21 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $807.2 million.

“We are pleased with our ability to generate third quarter earnings in line with our expectations and to consistently increase sales in our Distribution segment for the fifth consecutive quarter, despite a more challenging sales environment than anticipated,” stated Dennis Eidson, Spartan’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our Retail team continues to find ways to provide the consumer with value and a quality shopping experience. Our most recent effort, the Yes loyalty program, provides many benefits including free groceries and the best prescription drug program in our markets. In addition, our expanded Speedway fuel rewards partnership allows us to offer fuel rewards to the majority of our consumers in Michigan and provides existing distribution customers an opportunity to offer similar services. We remain confident that our consumer centric focus will continue to resonate well with both existing distribution customers and the end consumer as we position Spartan Stores for increased long-term growth.”

Competitors to Watch: Nash-Finch Company (NASDAQ:NAFC), SYSCO Corporation (NYSE:SYY), United Natural Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:UNFI), AMCON Distributing Co. (AMEX:DIT), Synergy Brands, Inc. (SYBR), Core-Mark Holding Co., Inc. (NASDAQ:CORE), SUPERVALU INC. (NYSE:SVU), G. Willi-Food Intl. Ltd. (NASDAQ:WILC), The Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR), and Weis Markets, Inc. (NYSE:WMK).

To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com