The Fresh Market Earnings: Investors Lose Appetite Over Missed Profit Estimate

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The Fresh Market Inc. (NASDAQ:TFM) reported higher profit for the third quarter as revenue showed growth. Fresh Market is a specialty food retailer. The company operates a chain of stores that retail fresh premium perishable food items. Fresh Market operates in the southeastern, midwestern and mid-Atlantic states.

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The Fresh Market Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet

Results: Net income for The Fresh Market Inc. rose to $10.9 million (23 cents per share) vs. $9.2 million (19 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 19% from the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 22.1% to $321.5 million from the year-earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: The Fresh Market Inc. fell short of the mean analyst estimate of 26 cents per share. It beat the average revenue estimate of $310.3 million.

Quoting Management: “We are pleased that our strong sales and earnings growth continued in the third quarter,” said Craig Carlock, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our comparable store sales grew 5.6%, and importantly, customer transactions grew nicely even as we cycled on solid transaction growth during last year’s third quarter. Additionally, during the quarter, we opened six new stores, including our first California store. Subsequent to quarter-end, we entered into four leases for new stores in Houston, Texas that we expect to open in the latter half of fiscal 2013.”

Key Stats:

The company has enjoyed double-digit year-over-year percentage revenue growth for the past five quarters. Over that span, the company has averaged growth of 18.3%, with the biggest boost coming in the first quarter when revenue rose 22.8% from the year earlier quarter.

After beating analyst estimates for the two previous quarters, the company fell short of forecasts. In the second quarter, it topped the mark by one cent, and in the first quarter, it was ahead by 5 cents.

Looking Forward: Expectations for the fourth quarter have not changed from 45 cents. For the fiscal year, the average estimate has moved up from $1.38 a share to $1.39 over the last ninety days.

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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