Whole Foods 2Q income rises, company lifts outlook

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Whole Foods Market Inc. said Tuesday that net income rose 20 percent in its fiscal second quarter, and it raised its profit forecast for the fiscal year.

Whole Foods also said it will conduct a two-for-one stock split at the end of May.

Net income for the three months ended April 14 was $142 million, or 76 cents per share. A year ago Whole Foods made $118 million, or 64 cents per share. Revenue grew 13 percent, to $3.03 billion.

Analysts expected 73 cents per share on $3.04 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Whole Foods said revenue from stores open at least a year grew 6.9 percent. Results from stores open at least a year are an important measure of retailer performance because they exclude results from locations that opened or closed recently.

Whole Foods has 349 stores in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom. It expects to open 32 stores in the current fiscal year and 33 to 38 more in fiscal 2014.

The company is now forecasting net income of $2.86 to $2.89 per share for the fiscal year, up from $2.83 to $2.87 per share.

Analysts expect net income of $2.87 per share, on average.

Whole Foods' board approved a two-for-one stock split that will double the company's share count to about 370 million. The company said shareholders of record on May 17 will get a stock dividend on May 29, receiving one new share for every share they own. The shares will start trading at post-split price on May 30.

Whole Foods' current annual guidance does not reflect the stock split.

Shares of Whole Foods Market jumped by $7.40, or 8 percent, to $100.20 in after-hours trading. The stock picked up $1 to close at $92.80 in the regular session.