Fresh Market Inc. (Nasdaq: TFM) shares advanced 11.6% to $38.88 after the grocery chain raised its outlook for 2011 earnings. Volume for the stock topped 942,000 shares, whereas it normally trades around 651,000 for a single day.
A news release out August 31 declared that the company announced unaudited sales and earnings results for its second quarter ended July 31, 2011. In the second quarter of fiscal 2011, net sales increased 13.6% to $259.5 million and comparable store sales increased 4.6%, compared to the corresponding period in 2010. Net income in the second quarter of fiscal 2011 was $10.5 million, compared to pro forma net income of $6.9 million in the corresponding period in 2010. Diluted earnings per share in the second quarter of fiscal 2011 was $0.22, compared to pro forma diluted earnings per share of $0.14 in the prior-year period, an increase of 52.1%.
The same release had CEO Craig Carlock as saying, “We are happy to report another healthy quarter of both sales and earnings growth. Our comparable store sales grew 4.6 %, and this marked our seventh consecutive quarter of comparable sales growth of 4.0% or greater. As revenues grew, we also continued to expand our margins. In the second quarter, we increased our operating margin from 5.2% last year to 6.5% this year despite pressure from rising food and commodity costs and despite the additional costs incurred related to being a publicly-traded company. Additionally, we were excited to open five new stores and to relocate one existing store during the quarter and we are happy with their performance so far.”
Carlock concluded, “We are pleased with the momentum in the business through the first half of fiscal 2011, and even with recent macroeconomic uncertainty, we are increasing our EPS guidance from a range of $1.01 to $1.05 to a range of $1.03 to $1.06.”
The Fresh Market, Inc. based in Greensboro, North Carolina, is a high-growth specialty retailer