Shares of Fresh Market Inc. (NASDAQ: TFM), a specialty retailer focusing on perishable product categories, are soaring today after the Greensboro, North Carolina-based company reported better-than-expected first-quarter profit. The company also raised its fiscal 2012 earnings forecast following the strong first-quarter financial results.
TFM shares rose to a new 52-week high of $56.38 in trading today, and at last check, the stock was trading 14.41% higher at $55.90 on above average volume of 1.83 million.
For the first quarter, Fresh Market reported net income of $19.27 million, or $0.40 per share, compared with $13.48 million, or $0.28 per share reported for the same period last year. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were expecting the company to report earnings of $0.36 per share for the first quarter.
Total sales for the quarter rose 22.8% to $324.78 million. Analysts were expecting first-quarter sales to come in at $310.39 million. Comparable store sales for the quarter rose 8.2%.
Commenting on the strong first-quarter results, Craig Carlock, President and CEO of Fresh Market, said that TFM is proud and excited to report another strong quarter of both sales and earnings growth. Carlock said that as the company looks at the remainder of fiscal 2012, it continues to be enthusiastic about its business and its growth prospects.
Following the strong first-quarter results, Fresh Market also raised its forecast for fiscal 2012. The company now expects fiscal 2012 earnings per share to come in between $1.28 and $1.34. This compares with previous forecast of $1.26-$1.31 per share. Analysts expect TFM’s full year earnings to come in at $1.30 per share.
Comparable store sales for the quarter are expected to rise between 4.5% and 6.5% in fiscal 2012. The company was earlier expecting comparable store sales growth of 4%-6%.