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Whole Foods gets 'Wild' boost in 4Q


AUSTIN, Texas Whole Foods Market revealed mixed results for its fourth quarter earnings.

The grocer’s net income for the quarter was about $34 million, diluted earnings per share were 24 cents, while its sales increased 25% to $1.7 billion and comparable-store sales were up 8.2% on top of an 8.6% increase in the prior year. Identical-store sales—excluding seven relocations and four major expansions—were up 6% on top of an 8.4% increase in the prior year.

For the fiscal year, sales increased 15.3% to approximately $6.6 billion. Comparable-store sales increased 7.1% on top of an 11% increase in the prior year. Sales in identical-stores, excluding seven relocated stores and four major expansions, increased 5.8% on top of a 10.3% increase in the prior year. Net income was approximately $183 million, diluted earnings per share were $1.29.

“On top of completing the merger with Wild Oats, we opened a record eight new stores and produced an 8% increase in comparable-store sales in the fourth quarter,” said John Mackey, chairman, ceo and co-founder of Whole Foods Market. “We are very excited about the progress of our integration of Wild Oats and the healthy increase in sales growth we are seeing at the Wild Oats stores from 3.9% in the fourth quarter to 6.6% quarter to date. We expect these stores, along with our new stores, to drive strong sales this year and strong comparable-store sales growth in fiscal year 2009 and beyond.”

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