Whole Foods cuts outlook; Shares drop

CNBC with Reuters
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Whole Foods Market on Wednesday reported same-store sales that decelerated in the fourth quarter and the grocer lowered its sales forecast for fiscal 2014, sending shares down in after hours trading.

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Same-store sales, a key gauge of performance for retailers, rose 5.9 percent for the fiscal fourth quarter ended Sept. 29, the slowest pace of the year. In the current quarter, those sales are up 5.8 percent so far.

Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods, the largest U.S. natural and organic grocery chain, lowered its same-store sales growth for fiscal 2014 by 1 percentage point on both ends of the range to a rise 5.5 percent to 7 percent.

The company posted fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of 32 cents per share, up from 30 cents a share in the year-earlier period.

Revenue increased to $2.98 billion from $2.91 billion a year ago.

Analysts had expected Whole Foods to report earnings of 31 cents a share on $3.04 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

—CNBC with Reuters