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We expect Whole Foods Market, Inc. (WFM - Analyst Report), one of the leading natural and organic foods supermarkets, to beat expectations when it reports first-quarter fiscal 2013 results on Feb 13, 2013.

Why a Likely Positive Surprise?

Our proven model shows that Whole Foods Market is likely to beat earnings because it has the right combination of two key components.

Positive Zacks ESP: Whole Foods Market currently has an Earnings ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method) of +1.30%. This is because the Most Accurate Estimate stands at 78 cents, while the Zacks Consensus Estimate is pegged at 77 cents.

Zacks Rank #3 (Hold): Note that stocks with Zacks Ranks of #1, #2 and #3 have a significantly higher chance of beating earnings estimates. The sell-rated stocks (Zacks Rank #4 and #5) should never be considered going into an earnings announcement.

The combination of Whole Foods Market’s Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) and +1.30% ESP makes us very confident regarding a positive earnings beat on Feb 13.

What is Driving the Better than Expected Earnings?

Whole Foods Market with a strong brand image, and marketing and merchandising expertise, offers investors one of the strongest growth profiles in the industry. The company is revamping its pricing strategy and concentrating more on value offerings, while maintaining healthy margins.

Cost containment efforts, effective inventory management, and improved store level performance are driving earnings growth. The positive trend is seen in the trailing four-quarter average surprise of 6.7%.

Other Stocks to Consider

Here are some other companies you may want to consider as our model shows they have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat:

Flowers Foods, Inc. (FLO - Snapshot Report), Earnings ESP of +5.56% and Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

J&J Snack Foods Corp. (JJSF - Snapshot Report), Earnings ESP of +5.00% and Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

The Hershey Company (HSY - Analyst Report), Earnings ESP of +0.96% and Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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