Why Fresh Market Shares Spilled

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 perishable-food retailer The Fresh Market (Nasdaq: TFM  ) plunged 15% today after its quarterly results and guidance missed  Wall Street expectations.

So what: Fresh Market's sales jumped 22% in the third quarter, but a miss on the bottom line -- EPS of $0.23 versus the consensus of $0.26 -- coupled with less-than-stellar guidance for the full year is triggering concerns over slowing profits going forward. Of course, the stock has surged over the past year and has consistently sported a 40-plus P/E, so it's no surprise that Wall Street is punishing Fresh Market for a seemingly small hiccup.

Now what: Management reaffirmed its full-year EPS of $1.33-$1.38, versus the average analyst estimate of $1.38. "Net, we remain enthusiastic about the consistency of our business, the portability of our concept, and the franchise we are building in the real estate marketplace," President and CEO Craig Carlock said in a statement. Given the stock's still-lofty valuation, however, I'd wait for an even bigger pullback before buying into that bullishness.

Interested in more info on Fresh Market? Add it to your watchlist.


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