Whole Foods 2nd-qtr profit up, store sales pick up, shares rise

Tue May 7, 2013 4:20pm EDT

May 7 (Reuters) - Whole Foods Market Inc on Tuesday reported higher second-quarter profit, raised its full-year earnings forecast and said store sales had recently accelerated, and its shares rose more than 9 percent after hours.

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 to $3.03 billion from $2.67 billion.

It also raised its forecast for full-year earnings per share to a range of $2.86 to $2.89 from $2.83 to $2.87.

Whole Foods shares, which closed at $92.80 on Nasdaq, rose to $101.50 in extended trading.

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