Whole Foods beats 4Q profit forecasts

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFM) on Wednesday reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $88 million.

The Austin, Texas-based company said it had profit of 28 cents per share.

The results exceeded Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of 12 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 24 cents per share.

The grocery chain posted revenue of $3.5 billion in the period, which did not meet Street forecasts. Six analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $3.51 billion.

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Whole Foods shares have declined 15 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has increased nearly 3 percent. In the final minutes of trading on Wednesday, shares hit $28.51, a drop of almost 8 percent in the last 12 months.