Whole Foods Posts In-Line Q4 Earnings and Raises Dividend 43% (WFM)

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Natural foods supermarket chain Whole Foods Market, Inc. ( WFM ) late Wednesday posted fiscal fourth quarter earnings results that met analyst expectations and boosted its quarterly dividend payout significantly.

The Austin, TX-based company reported fiscal fourth quarter net income of $112.7 million, or 60 cents per share, compared with $75.5 million, or 42 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue jumped 24% from last year to $2.91 billion.

On average, Wall Street analysts expected a matching profit of 60 cents per share, on matching revenue of $2.91 billion.

Looking ahead, WFM reiterated its previously-announced full-year earnings outlook. The company's board of directors also approved a 43% increase to its quarterly dividend payout. The new dividend of 20 cents per share (up from 14 cents) will be paid on Jan. 29, 2013, with an ex-dividend date of Jan. 16, 2013.

Whole Foods shares fell $2.92, or -3%, in premarket trading Thursday. The stock has gained about 38% since the beginning of 2012.

The Bottom Line
Shares of Whole Foods Market ( WFM ) will now have a .83% dividend yield, based on the higher dividend payout and last night's closing stock price of $95.93. The stock has technical support in the $90 price area. The stock is trading near the all-time high price range of $100-$101 a share.

Whole Foods Market, Inc. ( WFM ) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks , as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here .



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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