GREENSBORO, N.C. The Fresh Market Inc.'s shares plunged Wednesday after the grocery chain's fiscal third-quarter net income rose 19 percent but still missed Wall Street's expectations.
The grocer said that its net income increased to $10.9 million, or 23 cents per share, for the quarter ended Oct. 28. That's up from $9.2 million, or 19 cents per share, a year ago,
That was short of the 25 cents per share that analysts polled by FactSet expected.
Revenue increased 22 percent to $321.5 million from $263.3 million a year ago. That beat market forecasts for revenue of $318.4 million. Revenue from its stores open at least a year, considered a key indicator of financial performance as it strips away the impact of recently opened or closed sites, increased 5.6 percent.
CEO Craig Carlock said that the company is pleased with its growth. Fresh Market opened six new stores during the quarter and the number of transactions at its stores rose for the period.
Fresh Market, based in Greensboro, N.C., operates 128 stores in 25 states.
The company reaffirmed its fiscal 2012 guidance. It expects to earn $1.33 to $1.38 per share for the year; analysts were expecting $1.38 per share.
Fresh Market also announced Tuesday that Lisa Klinger, its executive vice president and chief financial officer, is leaving the company for a job at an undisclosed private-equity backed clothing company. She will remain with Fresh Market through Dec. 7.
Shares of Fresh Market fell $7.52, more than 12 percent, to $52.72 in afternoon trading. Prior to Wednesday, the company's shares had been on a steady climb, gaining nearly 30 percent since the beginning of the year.