Whole Foods Beats on Earnings, Raises Outlook

Produce at a Whole Foods Market in San Francisco.
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Produce at a Whole Foods Market in San Francisco.

Whole Foods on Tuesday beat on earnings and raised its full-year forecast, saying store sales had recently accelerated. Shares shot up after-hours.

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Same-store sales, a key gauge of performance for retailers, rose 6.9 percent for the fiscal second quarter that ended April 14. So far this quarter, those sales are up 9.4 percent.

The largest U.S. natural and organic grocery chain, based in Austin, Texas, said second-quarter net income grew to $142 million, or 76 cents per share, from $118 million, or 64 cents per share, a year earlier.

Total sales grew 13 percent to $3.03 billion from $2.67 billion.

Analysts had expected the company to report earnings excluding items of 73 cents a share on $3.03 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Whole Foods also raised its forecast for full-year earnings per share to a range of $2.86 to $2.89 a share from $2.83 to $2.87 a share. Analysts currently expect $2.87 a share.