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Whole Foods Market Reports First Quarter Results

Stocks in this article: WFM

The Company recently signed 11 new leases averaging 38,800 square feet in size in Toronto, Canada; Berkeley, CA; Los Angeles, CA; West Palm Beach, FL; Lafayette, LA; New Orleans, LA; Westford, MA; St. Louis, MO; Cherry Hill, NJ; Colleyville, TX; and Newport News, VA.  These stores currently are scheduled to open in fiscal year 2014 and beyond. The Company also terminated one lease for a 57,500 square foot store in development. 

In addition, the Company closed its purchase of six locations from Johnnie's Foodmaster on November 30, 2012, expanding its presence in the Greater Boston area to 26 stores. The six leases include Arlington, Brookline, Charlestown, Melrose, Somerville and South Weymouth and average 30,800 square feet in size. These locations were closed by Johnnie's Foodmaster prior to the transaction closing date. The Company is currently remodeling these stores and plans to reopen them as Whole Foods Market stores in fiscal year 2013. 

The following table provides additional information about the Company's store openings in fiscal years 2012 and 2013 year to date; leases currently tendered but unopened; and total development pipeline (including leases currently tendered) for stores scheduled to open through fiscal year 2017.

New Store Information Stores Opened FY12 Stores Opened FY13 YTD Current Leases Tendered Current Leases Signed
Number of stores (including relocations) 25 11 19 85
Number of relocations 1 1 4 9
Number of lease acquisitions, ground leases, & owned properties 0 0 8 9
New markets 8 5 4 18
Average store size (gross square feet) 35,500 35,300 35,200 36,700
Total square footage 887,400 387,700 668,300 3,125,700
Average tender period in months 7.9 6.3    
Average pre-opening expense per store (incl. rent) $1.7 mil      
Average pre-opening rent per store $0.6 mil      

Outlook for Fiscal Year 2013

The following table provides information on the Company's updated outlook for fiscal year 2013, a 52-week year, as compared to fiscal year 2012, a 53-week year.  Based on its year-to-date results, the Company is narrowing its comparable and identical store sales growth ranges for the fiscal year, keeping the midpoints approximately in line with its prior outlook, while maintaining EPS of $2.83 to $2.87.  On a 52-week to 52-week basis, the Company continues to expect sales growth of 12% to 14% and diluted earnings per share growth of 14% to 16%. 

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