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6 Good Buys for a Portfolio

Stocks in this article: EL WFM DISH LULU HLF GMCR

5. Whole Foods Market (WFM) is a natural and organic foods supermarket with more than 311 stores in North America and the U.K.

The company recorded year-to-date return of 36.3%. During the year, earnings per share grew 35.2%, while book value per share increased by 21.2%, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. During fiscal 2011, sales increased 12.2% over the prior year. Income available to common shareholders increased 42.5%, while diluted earnings per share were up 35% over the prior year.

For the fourth quarter 2011, the company reported total sales at $2.35 billion, up 12.4% from $2.09 billion in the same quarter 2010. Net income for the quarter stood at $75.4 million, improving 31.1% from $57.5 million in the prior-year quarter. Diluted net earnings per share grew to 42 cents from 33 cents per common share. Recently, the company paid a quarterly dividend of 16.25 cents per share and has declared a quarterly dividend of 10 cents per share payable Jan. 24, 2012 to shareholders of record Jan. 13.

During the year, WFM opened 18 new stores and one-stop stores for all kosher items during the holiday season. The company has announced it will unveil a new store in central London's busy Soho area in 2012.

Of the 25 analysts covering the stock, 56% recommend a buy and 40% rate a hold. Analysts polled by Bloomberg foresee the stock gaining an average 11.7% to $77.00 in the next 12 months.

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