Weak Growth Expected From Whole Foods

AUSTIN, Texas -- Analysts are expecting meager earnings growth from the formerly high-flying Whole Foods Markets when the company reports its first-quarter results this Wednesday.

AUSTIN, Texas -- Analysts are expecting meager earnings growth from the formerly high-flying Whole Foods Markets when the company reports its first-quarter results this Wednesday. The consensus earnings per share is at 41 cents, just 2.5% above last year‘s results. “Below-trend EPS growth, which could be the norm in 2007, is largely due to higher pre-opening expenses,” wrote Goldman Sachs analyst John Heinbockel in a research note. The weak earnings also reflect lower projected comp-store sales and some investments in lower pricing, he said. He projects earnings growth of 4% for the quarter, to 42 cents per share.