Why The Fresh Market Inc. Shares Got Dumped

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 The Fresh Market Inc.  were stinking up the market today, plummeting 19% after a poor third-quarter earnings report.

So what: Results for the high-end grocer came up short as per-share profits were flat versus a year ago at $0.23 due to an increase in depreciation and SG&A expenses from higher compensation, health-care, and pre-opening costs. Analysts had expected a profit of $0.26 per share, and revenue also missed the mark, growing 13% to $364.5 million against expectations of $373.4 million. Comparable sales were up modestly at 3.1% as CEO Craig Carlock noted "increasingly challenging economic conditions" in the quarter.

Now what: The Fresh Market's full-year outlook wasn't much better as it lowered its per-share earnings forecast to $1.42-$1.47, below the consensus at $1.53. The upper end of that range would give the company just a 10% EPS growth rate for the year, a poor result for a growth stock. Its store expansion plan and growing revenues should eventually delivery increasing profits to the bottom line, but the market seems justified in today's sell-off after the company whiffed on all counts.

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The article Why The Fresh Market Inc. Shares Got Dumped originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Jeremy Bowman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends 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. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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