Whole Foods Market (WFM - Free Report) just released its fiscal third-quarter financial results, and the company was quick to show off its record-high revenues of $3.7 billion. Nevertheless, the grocery chain faced familiar problems, as comparable-store sales and earnings slipped again.
Total revenues were up 0.6% year-over-year, while comps slipped about 1.9%. Adjusted earnings came in at 36 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 34 cents but falling about 2.7% from the prior-year quarter.
“For the quarter, we delivered record sales and free cash flow, and returned $44 million in dividends to our shareholders,” said Whole Foods CEO John Mackey. “Our comparable store sales improved sequentially on a one- and two-year basis in the third quarter, and that momentum has accelerated 220 basis points in the fourth quarter, resulting in positive overall comps for the first three weeks.”
Whole Foods said that it opened six stores in the third quarter, including one relocation, and it has already opened two new locations in the fourth quarter. The company also said that it expects to open two additional Whole Foods stores, as well as two Whole Foods 365 stores, before the end of the fiscal year.
That’s about all of the forward-looking information that Whole Foods provided in the report, as the company opted not to update its outlook for fiscal 2017 or beyond given its merger agreement with Amazon.com (AMZN - Free Report) (also read: Amazon Scoops Up Whole Foods in $13.7 Billion Deal).
Whole Foods reiterated that it expects the deal with Amazon to close in the second half of the year, which means that this very well could be the last earnings report we see from the company.
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