Greensboro, N.C.-based The Fresh Market Inc. today reported a higher profit and revenues for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012, but the specialty grocer’s weak forecast and failure to meet analyst expectations sent its share prices tumbling, according to The Business Journal.
Shares of The Fresh Market hit a 52-week low of $36.51 today after the company reported a 1.9 percent growth in comparable store sales for the quarter and lower-than-expected operating profit margin and earnings.
“Though we executed well in the fourth quarter, we experienced a sudden slowdown in customer traffic and resultant comparable store sales that were consistent across our network,” Craig Carlock, president and CEO, said in an earnings announcement.
Company revenues were up 15.3 percent to $369.9 million in the fourth quarter, while profits rose to $20.6 million from $18.3 million in the year-ago period.
The Fresh Market opened two stores in Florida and one in South Carolina in the fourth quarter and has plans to open between 19 and 22 stores in 2013.
For the year, net income was $64.1 million, compared to $51.4 million the previous year.