Whole Foods lowers 2014 guidance; shares slip

Customers at a Whole Foods Market in El Segundo, California, Nov. 5, 2013.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Whole Foods Market on Wednesday lowered its 2014 sales forecast after first-quarter sales missed Wall Street expectations. The grocery chain's shares fell more than 6 percent in after-hours trading.

Same-store sales, a key gauge of performance for retailers, rose 5.4 percent for the fiscal first quarter, ended Jan. 19.

Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods, the largest U.S. natural and organic grocery chain, now expects 2014 same-store sales growth of between 5.5 percent to 6.2 percent, from a previous forecast range of 5.5 percent to 7 percent.

Net income rose to $158 million, or 42 cents per share, from $146 million, or 39 cents last year. Overall sales rose 9.9 percent to $4.24 billion.

—By Reuters