February 10, 2016 / 9:47 PM / 2 years ago

Whole Foods beats estimates after pricing revamp

(Reuters) - Upscale grocery chain Whole Foods Market Inc (WFM.O) reported profit and sales above analysts' estimates, as its efforts to shed its high-price "Whole Paycheck" image bear fruit.

Whole Foods is revamping its pricing and modernizing its business to fend off competition from grocers and retailers such as Kroger Co (KR.N) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N).

The company is investing in shorten check-out queues and plans to launch a chain of smaller, more value-focused stores next year.

Net income fell 6 percent to $157 million in the first quarter. On a per share basis, net income was flat at 46 cents per share as the company had a lower share count in the latest quarter.

Analysts on average were expecting 40 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Whole Foods said sales at established stores fell 1.8 percent in the first quarter ended Jan. 17.

Overall sales rose 3.4 percent to $4.83 billion, above the average analyst estimate of 4.81 billion.

The company's shares were down 0.4 percent at $28.75 in extended trading on Wednesday.

Reporting by Ramkumar Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva

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