Editor's Note: TheStreet ratings do not represent the views of TheStreet's staff or its contributors. Ratings are established by computer based on metrics for performance (which includes growth, stock performance, efficiency and valuation) and risk (volatility and solvency). Companies with poor cash flow or high debt levels tend to earn lower ratings in our model. NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Whole Foods Market (Nasdaq: WFM) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of A. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income and good cash flow from operations. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value.
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- The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 2.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 13.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- WFM's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.01 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Along with the favorable debt-to-equity ratio, the company maintains an adequate quick ratio of 1.21, which illustrates the ability to avoid short-term cash problems.
- WHOLE FOODS MARKET INC has improved earnings per share by 20.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, WHOLE FOODS MARKET INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.52 versus $1.94 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.87 versus $2.52).
- The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Food & Staples Retailing industry average. The net income increased by 23.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $118.33 million to $146.00 million.
- Net operating cash flow has increased to $303.00 million or 16.13% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -16.45%.
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