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whole foods market inc (WFM) Key Developments

Whole Foods Market, Inc. - Shareholder/Analyst Call

Whole Foods Market, Inc. - Shareholder/Analyst Call

Whole Foods Opens Store in the Syracuse Area

Whole Foods opening a store in the Syracuse area.

Whole Foods to Open Stores

Harbor East Management Group formally announced the Whole Foods lease for 711 S. Central Ave., plans first discussed publicly two years ago. The store will occupy the street level of a new building, which will contain about 290 luxury apartments and almost 50 condos, on the former site of Baltimore Contractors, now a parking lot, where Harbor East meets Fells Point and Harbor Point. The Bozzuto Group is working with Harbor East Management on the more than $100 million project, presented to neighborhood groups this fall. The new store will replace the existing Whole Foods store two blocks away on Fleet Street, which opened in 2002. The new location, between Aliceanna and Lancaster streets, is expected to be roughly 50,000 square feet, more than double the size of its current store, with cafe seating on a second floor and two outdoor patios. It would be the latest new Whole Foods in the region as the retailer continues to expand. Whole Foods expects to have more than 500 stores within the next three years.

Whole Foods Market to Continue Expansion in Western Canada with Locations Serving Greater Victoria, Edmonton and Calgary

Whole Foods Market announced its plans for continued expansion in Western Canada with three new locations: Greater Victoria, British Columbia; Edmonton, Alberta; and Calgary, Alberta. The company currently has four stores in British Columbia, with locations in development in North Burnaby (expected to open in August 2015) and North Vancouver (expected to open in summer 2017). The store serving Greater Victoria will be the sixth store in British Columbia. The stores serving Edmonton and Calgary are Whole Foods Market’s first locations in Alberta. The 40,000-square-foot store in Greater Victoria will be located at 3587 Blanshard Street in Saanich, part of the new Uptown mixed-use urban neighbourhood. The company signed a lease for the location with Morguard Investments Limited. The expected opening date is in fall 2016. The company plans to open its first Alberta store in fall 2016. Edmonton’s 42,000-square-foot store will be located in the South Park Centre (3803 Calgary Trail S NW). The lease for this location is with First Capital Realty. The natural and organic grocer anticipates that details for the specific site in Calgary will be available in June 2015, with an expected opening date in Calgary in the summer of 2017. In addition to hundreds of construction jobs created while each project is completed, each store will create an estimated 150 jobs in respective community. Once complete, each Whole Foods Market store will provide local shoppers with a wide selection of natural, organic and local products. Shoppers can find a community butcher, fishmonger, baker and a team of chefs creating prepared take-out meals, all under one roof.

Whole Foods Market, Inc. Reports Unaudited Consolidated Earnings Results for the First Quarter Ended January 18, 2015; Provides Earnings Guidance for the Fiscal Year 2015; Expects New Store Openings in 2015

Whole Foods Market, Inc. reported unaudited consolidated earnings results for the first quarter ended January 18, 2015. For the quarter, the company reported sales of $4,671 million compared with $4,239 million a year ago. Operating income was $271 million compared with $255 million a year ago. Income before income taxes was $274 million compared with $259 million a year ago. Net income was $167 million compared with $158 million a year ago. Diluted earnings per share were $0.46 compared with $0.42 a year ago. Net cash provided by operating activities was $387 million against $337 million a year ago. Adjusted EBITDA was $428 million against $394 million a year ago. Development costs of new locations were $152 million against $122 million a year ago. Other property and equipment expenditures were $100 million against $97 million a year ago. The company's targets for fiscal year 2015 are: sales growth over 9%; comparable store sales growth in the low to middle single digits; EBITDA margin of approximately 9%. The company believes this is the right strategy to drive sales growth over the longer term. Reflecting its ongoing value efforts, the company expects a greater decline in gross margin, excluding LIFO, in fiscal year 2015 than in fiscal year 2014. The company targets square footage growth of 9% to 10% based on 38 to 42 new stores, including five to six relocations in 2015. The company expects store openings to be spread fairly evenly throughout the rest of the fiscal year. For the six remaining former Dominick's locations in Chicago, two are expected to open in each of the second, third and fourth quarters.

 

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