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Why Fresh Market's Shares Soared

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of specialty grocer The Fresh Market (Nasdaq: TFM  ) were looking mighty tasty to investors today as shares rose as much as 15% in intraday trading after the company reported first-quarter earnings.

So what: The first quarter -- which ended in April -- was mighty kind to Fresh Market as revenue jumped 23% from last year on a solid 8.2% increase in same-store sales. Profits followed suit as net income leapt 43% and per-share earnings were up a similar percentage. In the context of Wall Street's expectations, Fresh Market's performance was likewise laudable as sales of $325 million and earnings per share of $0.40 topped the estimates of $310 million and $0.36, respectively.

Now what: Looking ahead to the rest of the year, the company's forecast was also encouraging. Management sees same-store sales growth of around 5.5% for the full year as the company opens an additional 15 new locations. On the bottom line, the company expects earnings per share to grow to roughly $1.31 -- above Wall Street's $1.30 estimate -- despite anticipating a higher tax rate than in 2011.

Want to keep up to date on The Fresh Market? Add it to your watchlist.

Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of The Fresh Market. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer does not have a financial interest in any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting his CAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter @KoppTheFool or Facebook. The Fool's disclosure policy prefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.

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The Fresh Market CAPS Rating: ***