Shares of Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. (SFM - Free Report) have plunged roughly 11.7% since its earnings release and 14.6% in three months, underperforming the industry’s gain of 3.9%. This is primarily because of lower-than-expected first-quarter 2018 net sales as well as trimmed sales and comps guidance for the full year.
Three Factors That Hurt the Stock
This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company generated net sales of $1,287 million, lagging the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,289 million. Notably, this breaks the company’s history of sales beat in the past six quarters. Although the comparable store sales figure rose 2.7%, it lagged the company’s projections.
Following the results, the company trimmed full year guidance for sales and comps. The company now expects net sales in the range of 10.5% to 11.5% versus the previous 11.5% to 12.5%. Further, comps are expected in the band of 1.5% to 2.5% versus the earlier 2.5% to 3.5%. However, the company reiterated the earnings per share range at $1.22 to $1.28.
Discontinuation of Amazon Prime
The company recently dissolved the Amazon Prime home delivery partnership. The company had 18 months accord with the e-commerce giant for 15 of its stores . Per management, this discontinuation will impact comps over the next several quarters.
Fundamentals to Look At
In an effort to expand its customer base, the company is adopting several initiatives. The company launched new Sprouts.com website and mobile app in February to provide customers with a hassle-free shopping experience. The company has also partnered with Instacart to offer same-day delivery to customers.
Further, management announced plans to launch more than 200 items in 2018. The company is making efforts to come up with ready-to-eat, ready-to-heat and ready-to-cook items to improve customer satisfaction.
The company is leaving no stone unturned to drive revenues. We note that the company opened nine stores in the first quarter. Management is also optimistic about the pipeline, which included 47 approved sites and 40 signed leases. The company is also trying to tap opportunities in the State of South Carolina.
We believe these efforts are likely to cushion sales and margins.
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