Austin, Texas -- Whole Foods Market's second-quarter net income rose 33% on strong sales, beating analyst expectations. The company raised its full-year earnings outlook.
Whole Foods said the overall results for the quarter were its strongest in five years. It has fully repaid its long-term debt and is considering using its growing cash balance to grow faster, raise its dividend and repurchase stock.
Whole Foods earned $89.9 million for the quarter that ended April 10, up from $67.5 million a year earlier. Revenue rose 12% to $2.35 billion.
The chaiin opened three stores, including one relocation, in the second quarter. It expects to open six additional new stores, including two relocations, in the third quarter. The company also recently signed nine new leases averaging 32,200 sq. ft. in size in Markham, Ontario; Fulham, England; Tampa, Fla.; Des Moines, Iowa; Chicago; Riverdale, Md; Wilmington, N.C.; southern N.H.; and Knoxville, Tenn. These stores currently are scheduled to open in fiscal year 2012 and beyond.
Whole Foods also announced that it is changing its stock symbol to "WFM" from "WFMI" as of Friday.