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AP News

More shopping lifts Fresh Market 2Q profit 27 pct

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — The Fresh Market Inc. said Wednesday that its second-quarter net income jumped 27 percent as more shoppers spent more at its grocery stores. The company lifted its profit outlook for the year and shares rose nearly 5 percent in premarket trading.

For the quarter ended July 29, the Greensboro, N.C.-based grocer earned $13.3 million, or 28 cents per share, up from $10.5 million, or 22 cents per share, in the same period last year.

Analysts, on average, expected a profit of 27 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 21 percent to $313 million from $259.5 million as the number of shopper purchases rose 5 percent and the average amount spent rose 3 percent. Analysts expected $307.7 million in revenue in the latest quarter.

The increase in number of purchases and in money spent by shoppers drove revenue in established stores up 8 percent. The company also opened five new stores during the quarter. It operates 121 stores in the U.S.

Based on its results for the first half of the year, Fresh Market boosted its full-year profit prediction to a range of $1.33 to $1.38 per share from $1.28 to $1.34 per share. Analysts expect a profit of $1.36 per share.

The company also calls for revenue at stores open at least a year to grow 5.5 percent to 6.5 percent rather than a previous outlook of an increase of 4.5 to 6.5 percent.

Fresh market shares rose $2.92, or 4.7 percent, to $64.61 in premarket trading. The stock has ranged from $33.82 to $62.41 over the past 12 months and is up 55 percent this year.

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