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What: Shares of Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM) were looking fresh from the garden today, climbing as much as 12% after delivering a strong quarter earnings report.
So what: The organic grocery chain beat earnings estimates, and raised its full-year projection. Whole Foods said same-store sales jumped by an impressive 6.9%, and the pace heated up in the current quarter, improving to 9.4%, or 7.4%, adjusting for a special employee discount day. Overall, sales were up 13% to $3.03 billion, and earnings came in at $0.76 per share, ahead of estimates of $0.73. Whole Foods also bumped up its full-year EPS guidance from $2.83-$2.87 to $2.86-$2.89, and said it would enact a 2-for-1 stock split at the end of the May.
Now what: This was certainly a strong report, and it's hard to doubt Whole Foods' brand strength as it basically owns the high-end grocery niche. However, shares look dearly priced after today's jump at a 2013 P/E of 35, and with top-line growth of just 13%. Whole Foods has likely grabbed the low-hanging fruit in the industry, meaning it's already opened stores in high-end urban enclaves where its target customers are found. Consequently, it's hard for me to see the company growing to this valuation.
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Fool contributor Jeremy Bowman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Whole Foods 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. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.