Whole Foods' profit misses

From Times Wire Services

Whole Foods Market Inc. posted lower quarterly profit, missing analysts' estimates by a penny, as it booked charges related to its $565-million acquisition of rival Wild Oats Markets in August.

Despite a 28% rise in sales during the quarter, the natural and organic foods seller left its fiscal 2008 sales outlook unchanged.

The Austin, Texas-based company had fiscal second-quarter net income of $40 million, or 29 cents a share, compared with $46 million, or 33 cents, a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, had been expecting earnings of 30 cents, according to Reuters Estimates.

Charges related to its Wild Oats acquisition lowered earnings by about 6 cents a share, Whole Foods said.

Revenue rose nearly 28% in the quarter to $1.9 billion, matching Wall Street estimates.

Whole Foods shares declined 8.6% to $30.74 in extended trading after closing at $33.64, down 11 cents, in the regular session.

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