Seeking Alpha
We cover over 5K calls/quarter
Profile| Send Message|
( followers)  

Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM)

F2Q 2013 Earnings Call

May 07, 2013, 5:00 pm ET

Executives

Cindy McCann - Global Vice President of Investor Relations

John Mackey - Co-Chief Executive Officer, Director

A. C. Gallo - President, Chief Operating Officer

Walter Robb - Co-Chief Executive Officer

Kenneth Meyer - Executive Vice Presidents - Operations

Glenda Flanagan - Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

David Lannon - Executive Vice President - Operations

Analysts

Priscilla Tsai - JPMorgan

Shane Higgins - Deutsche Bank

Jason DeRise - UBS

Mark Miller - William Blair

Scott Van Winkle - Canaccord Genuity

Kate Wendt - Wells Fargo Securities

Bob Summers - Susquehanna

Operator

Good day, everyone and welcome to today's Whole Foods second quarter earnings. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, you will have the opportunity to ask questions during the Q&A session. Please note I will be standing by if should you need any assistance.

It is now pleasure to turn the call over to Cindy McCann. Please go ahead.

Cindy McCann

Good afternoon and thank you for joining us. On today's call are John Mackey and Walter Robb, Co-Chief Executive Officers, A.C. Gallo, President, Glenda Flanagan, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Jim Sud, Executive Vice President of Growth and Development and David Lannon and Ken Meyer, Executive Vice Presidents of Operations.

As a reminder, all forward-looking statements on this call are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations and assumptions discussed today. This may be due to a variety of factors including the risks outlined in our company's most recently filed Form 10-K. Please note our press release and scripted remarks are available on our website. We assume you have read our press release. So we will use this time to focus on highlights from the quarter as well as our future outlook.

I will now turn the call over to John Mackey.

John Mackey

Thank you, Cindy. Good afternoon, everyone. In Q2 we delivered another quarter of strong sales and earnings growth producing a 19% increase in earnings per share on a 13% increase in sales. We reported record results on many levels including average weekly shares per store of $725,000 translating to sales per gross square foot of $991, gross margin of 36.4%, store contribution of 11%, operating margin of 7.5%, EBITDA margin of 10.1% and a return on invested capital of 16.7%.

Our solid performance in capital discipline generated $178 million in free cash flow. We invested $109 million in new and existing stores, repurchased $37 million of stock and returned $37 million in dividends to our shareholders. We ended the quarter with $1.3 billion in cash and investments and $409 million in share repurchase authority.

We reported 6.6% identical store sales growth and I am pleased with the momentum we saw during the quarter. Our idents accelerated from 6.1% for the first three weeks to 6.7% for the last nine weeks. On a two year basis, our idents held steady at 15% throughout the quarter. Our identical store sales growth was driven by approximately equal increases in transaction count and basket size.

We attribute this shift in the mix primarily to more severe winter weather in several regions this year versus last which resulted in customers making fewer trips and buying larger baskets per trip. In our regions not impacted by weather, we were closer to our 60-40 historical mix. In addition to the weather impact, we also had another tougher comparison in transaction count as we saw a 110-basis point increase from Q1 to Q2 of 2012.

We are not aware of any public food retailers producing these levels of same-store-sales results and believe our efforts around value and differentiation continue to be a significant contributor to our market share gains.

Leverage in occupancy cost grew a slight improvement in gross margin with cost of goods sold flat year-over-year. We remain committed to our current path of expanding our value offerings across the store, increasing our promotional activity and improving our relative price positioning. We believe our results reflect our incremental progress, as well as our ongoing efforts around shrink reduction.

Our pricing surveys indicate that during the quarter, our pricing on known value non-perishable products continue to be very sharp and that our perishable teams improved their price competitiveness. We are very pleased with our performance, but want to point out that survey results may vary quarter-to-quarter due to the dynamic competitive environment. Our strategy is focused on driving sales growth over the longer term. While we are focused on value, the Whole Foods Market brand is defined by our high quality standards and we continue to find ways to further distance ourselves from other food retailers.

In March, we became the first national grocery chain to set a deadline for full GMO transparency, announcing that all products in our U.S. and Canadian stores containing genetically modified organisms will be clearly labeled by 2018. We believe that quality and transparency are inseparable and that providing detailed information about the products we offer such as 5-Step Animal Welfare ratings in meat, Eco-Scale ratings for cleaning products, sustainability ratings in seafood and now GMO labeling, is one of the reasons millions of people place their trust in us each day.

We also wanted to appreciate our shoppers who joined our in-store fundraising efforts to raise more than $6 million during Whole Planet Foundation's Annual Prosperity Campaign. Through grants to microfinance partners in the U.S. and 56 other countries, Whole Planet Foundation funds microloans in developing communities where we source products. To-date, the foundation has committed $35 million globally.

During the quarter, we opened six stores in both, urban and suburban areas ranging in size from 16,000 to 50,000 square feet. Our new store in South Bend, Indiana is another great example of our ability to enter a smaller market with the right-sized store and generate a lot of excitement. At 25,000 square feet, the store was the region’s busiest opening in terms of sales per square foot and set a company record with over 16,000 Facebook likes at opening.

Our new stores are delivering healthy returns. For the last eight quarters, on average, our new store class has consisted of 25 stores open for approximately six months. At 37,000 square feet in size, they have produced average weekly sales of $547,000, translating to sales per gross square foot of $759, and have generated a contribution margin of just over 5%. These results, combined with our capital investment and pre-opening expense discipline, enabled us to deliver another quarter of high return on invested capital.

For the quarter, our 23 comparable stores less than two years old produced an after-tax ROIC of 19%, another Q2 record. Check out the Beyond the Numbers section of our Investor Relations webpage for additional information about our new stores, GMO labeling initiative, Whole Planet Foundation and more.

Turning now to our updated outlook for the fiscal year. Based on our strong Q2 results and updated assumptions, we are raising our EPS range for the year to $2.86 to $2.89. This implies EPS of $1.32 to $1.35 for the remainder of the year. We expect our tax rate to be at the low end of our prior range and have narrowed our pre-opening and relocation expense range based on 32 new stores this year.

As we typically do at this point, we are also narrowing our fiscal year ranges for comps and idents based on our year-to-date results. The mid-points of these ranges are in line with our Q2 year-to-date results of 7.1% and 6.8%, respectively.

We are certainly pleased to see further momentum in our Q3-to-date idents but note that this is just a three-week period, and reflects an estimated 200 basis point positive impact from Team Member Appreciation Double Discount Day. Excluding this event, our quarter-to-date two-year idents are in line with Q2.

We have not changed our long-term strategy regarding gross margin and we expect a year-over-year change in the back half of the year to be less than we produced in the first half. In addition to our ongoing value strategy, we continue to expect lower EPS growth in the back half due to higher G&A and pre-opening expense.

We expect a significant year-over-over increase in pre-opening expense in Q4, reflecting 12 new store openings this year versus seven last year, as well as a high number of openings anticipated in Q1 of next year. We also want to remind investors that Q4 is twelve weeks long this year versus thirteen weeks last year.

The demand for fresh, healthy foods continues to grow. We see tremendous new store opportunities in all types of markets from urban to suburban as well as new and existing. We are consistently producing healthy free cash flow and have opened a record 32 new stores over the last four quarters demonstrating our ability to internally fund and execute our accelerated growth plans. With 89 signed leases representing over three million square feet in our development pipeline, we are well positioned to accelerate our ending square footage growth through 2014 and hopefully beyond.

Each week close to seven million customers visit our 349 stores in 40 states and three countries. We believe we will maintain our leadership position and continue to gain market share as we step up our new store openings, improve our relative value proposition, further differentiate our shopping experience and reinforce our standing as America's healthiest grocery store.

We will now take questions. Please limit yourself to one question at a time so that everyone has an opportunity to participate. Our call will end at 4:30 Central Time. Please don’t forget wish Cindy McCann a happy birthday. Its her birthday today.

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

(Operator Instructions) Our first question comes from Ken Goldman with JPMorgan. Please go ahead.

Priscilla Tsai - JPMorgan

Hi, this is Priscilla Tsai, in for Ken today. Happy birthday, Cindy. So, on the recent price investments, did you guys provide some color on which customers are they reasoning with the most? Meaning are they attracting maybe some of the smaller basket customers or new customers or are they working across different baskets beside this?

A. C. Gallo

Hi, this is A.C. I think that with the price investments, we do it in different forms. Sometimes it’s a one day sale where we just had a one day sale on organic chickens. We have a big one day sale coming up on blueberries next month. Sometimes, its just promotions within different regions. (inaudible) not a weekly promotion and so you have different targeted promotions to different kinds of customers. What we are trying to do is really try to get value to all customers. We find that everybody likes a deal. So sometimes it’s a really low price, we have that everyday low value price on our Three Wishes Wine that we sell for $2.99. A certain wine customer likes to buy that and then sometimes we just get a great deal on a bottle of wine that might sell for $20 and that customer feels like they are getting the deal too. So I think our strategy is really one of trying to get value throughout all the different categories because everybody in every different category likes a deal.

Operator

Thank you. We will go next to Shane Higgins with Deutsche Bank. Please go ahead.

Shane Higgins - Deutsche Bank

Good afternoon and happy birthday, Cindy. I just wanted to ask real quick about how you guys are measuring your relative price perception today? Is it the overall position in your markets and how that’s changed, maybe over the last few months?

Kenneth Meyer

This is Ken here. One of the key things that we are using is our price index and we look at the overall market that we are in as well as our primary competitors in terms of how we are indexing against them. We look at that on a monthly basis.

Shane Higgins - Deutsche Bank

Okay. And, I guess that's been improving or and then just a quick follow-on to that. Have you seen any response from competitors as you guys, that has improved?

John Mackey

The marketplace is very competitive and it's very dynamic. We are constantly looking at what our competition is doing some adjustments to what they do, doing some of the stuff we do ourselves. We see other people adjust to what we do at times, not only from price standpoint, but also from a standpoint.

We tend to really, I would look at new trends of products to bring products in earlier than other people and we know that a lot of other competitors look at what we are doing to the kind of products we are offering, what new trends there might be and then try to bring those products in as well, so it is very dynamic and I would say that we are looking at what everyone is doing and they are looking at what we are doing and it's constantly adjusting and it's challenging environment and you are constantly adjusting to what each other is doing.

Shane Higgins - Deutsche Bank

That's great, but you wouldn't say it's changed or become significantly more competitive recently. Has it?

Walter Robb

This is Walter. That's correct.

Operator

Thank you. We'll go next to Jason DeRise with UBS. Please go ahead.

Jason DeRise - UBS

Hi, everybody and happy birthday. I guess the question that I wanted to maybe kind of drill down into is two-part, but I think it's related. Understanding the gross margin expansion in the quarter and where that came from? Then part of that, the understanding the basket growth, it sound like there is more items per basket, but I am wondering if you could break that down if there was price increases in the quarter if the price reductions were part of the basket or just any more items? Then coming back to the gross margin, depending on what you say about pricing, what's going on in terms of the efficiency there I think you called out shrink improvements, but if you can help us to understand that that would be very much appreciated.

Glenda Flanagan

Well, I'll start. This is Glenda. We saw leverage in occupancy cost in the quarter that what the entire reason for the improvement in gross margin year-over-year, because cost of goods sold was flat and that reflects improvement in performance and shrink reduction as well as the value efforts that we are talking about, so really three big components there. Leverage and occupancy and improvement in gross margin, because of improvements in shrink reduction and more value efforts with our promotional activity and our competitive pricing strategy which is an ongoing as it has been for quite a few quarters.

A. C. Gallo

It's A.C.. I would like to add to that is that we had said at the end of Q2 that we were going to be continuing our program of investing our competitiveness and in our prices and we did that. There was a lot of price reduction as we did a lot of additional specials, a lot of features throughout the quarter, but as Glenda said, we had one of the things that kind of offset that a little bit and allowed us to perform copy goods flat to last year in Q2 with that, we put in several programs to really help shrink reduction and we saw some nice gains of particular areas.

We also had a couple of advantageous situations during the quarter with in produce costs, we had some contracts that we were able to do during the quarter that's definitely lowered our costs. We also had a very favorable corn market, which really helps moderate cost in beef and chicken, so all those things really helped us despite the price investments we did to have a flat cost of goods sold this quarter versus Q2 of last year.

David Lannon

This is David Lennon. So, just a little more color. In terms of our shrink focused at the regional levels giving the operators real confidence that we can achieve the margins at the same time doing an additional price investments. These one-day sales were doing cross-sales, mango one-day sale across the whole companies and power wall or social media, sold 1.2 million mangoes in one day. The other things we have never done before and we are doing a more and more and we can do some more value at the same time having our margins stay consistent.

Great. When you run those promotions, isn’t that part of the shrink effort too if you are going to turn volume that quickly it just doesn’t have time to spoil. Is that part of it?

John Mackey

Absolutely, if you sell, you have don’t have to throw away.

Unidentified Analyst

Just coming back to the initial part of the question. In terms of the basket, would you break out the price versus the average per basket for the quarter?

Glenda Flanagan

The basket size was up about over 3% with more than half of it was average price for items and there was improvement in items per basket. We want to emphasize that there was also some weather impact in the quarter on the transaction count and basket size and that impacted where we got to the mix of 50/50 that was out but it was more of our historical 60/40 mix.

Walter Robb

This is Walker. Just going to add a little bit more of tidbit for you which is, we often talk about days on hand, our inventory tracking and we have already seen days (inaudible) that it showed up in incremental improvement in our inventory management as well. So nice tight metric on that. So these things all tied together to help produce these nice results.

Operator

Okay, we will go next to Mark Miller with William Blair. Please go ahead.

Mark Miller - William Blair

In the past you talked about how you have really historically focused on building stores and now you are backing into systems to support those stores. So as a general point, can you elaborate on what the implications are for Whole Foods overtime as you leverage some of these infrastructure investments you have like the distribution network and like you said, in place to support a 1,000 stores. So what's the magnitude of this opportunity and where do we see that showing up on the P&L?

Walter Robb

I will take a crack at that. This is Walter. Just reinforcing what you said in terms of our distribution network. We do have the capacity to serve our growth as we have laid it out. We are in the early innings on that. As you correctly stated, we surely started with the customer experience first, building the stores, exciting stores and now that we continue to hit a larger scale, we have this opportunity to leverage some of these things in a different way than we have done before.

So distribution is a good example. We switched them all from a profit model to a cost to serve model so that we are freeing up additional dollars and bit more efficiencies to be able to give us the ability to invest from the buy side on to sell side. That’s probably what you are seeing happen here. It is still early innings with respect to that.

We are also working on our other facilities, all the production to sell these in a similar manner. So these are kind of relatively new efforts for us and I think there is more dividends to be paid from these efforts.

John Mackey

In some ways, one way to think about it is that at least in the United States we have our regional infrastructure in place and whereas, of course, with decent incremental increases. We have got significant leverage opportunities ahead for us in that regional structure that you will begin to see those to trends line over the next. So you are beginning to see it. You will probably see it continue for many years to come. Probably the one area we need to make additional capital investment from an infrastructure standpoint is going to be in our IT. We see that’s a real opportunity for us and its going to require additional capital. But pretty much most of our infrastructure has significant leverage opportunities and we anticipate reaping that for years to come.

Mark Miller - William Blair

Okay, sorry. I did have just one other question. The additional leases that tendered in the period, if my math is correct, looks like this square footage of those is around 47,000 foot. It’s a little bit bigger. I was wondering if we are going to see a trend of larger stores. Just what are your current thought smaller format and returns? I thought we are coming in higher with those versus the older bigger stores? Thanks.

John Mackey

I thin its just the way things roll out in this quarter. Though I had couple of quarters we signed leases anywhere from, well I guess the Brooklyn store is what, 16,000 feet and up to 45,000 square feet. So its just on average we feel like our sweet spot is 40,000 to 45,000 and that’s where we are focused on.

But as far as the trend lines, in 2005, 2006, we were going bigger then we started rightsizing the stores for the different markets we were trying to address and we started moving a little bit smaller, going to 30,000 to 35,000 square foot range. Now we are shifting back up to 35,000 to 45,000 square feet, so it's just a way it happened to roll out in this quarter.

John Mackey

You know, Mark, one of the interesting things if you look at the press release and the chart, I found very interesting that our largest store, the cohort of stores between five and years old, which have been all actually lagers and that's reversed in South as we predicted it would. As these stores get a little bit older, they are still coping very strongly and ROICs are going up, we think those stores have much higher long-term potential, because they have so much more parking, they have is their depreciation begins to fall of the books. As their sale continue to climb, increasing leverage less spoilage the just become more and more efficient, so it's going to be very interesting to watch the larger store awards as they reach their maturation phase and we starting to move 10-plus years.

We have so many of these larger stores being opened back kind of back when the economy fell out 2007, 2008, 2009, that now are performing very well for us leading us to rethinking, maybe we need a few bigger flagship stores of some of these markets, because we are doing so well with the ones we have.

Walter Robb

If I could tag onto that, Mark. It's Walter just to pick up on Jim's point is that the wide ranging nature of the opportunity for Whole Foods right now is pretty amazing in terms of what's available to us and the amount of opportunity that's there roll along end-to-end for real estate sites is pretty remarkable so, maybe vary sites roughly is quarter-to-quarter, but what you are seeing is that is just the strength of the pipe line is amazing.

To John's point on it. I was in 2007, our return on invested capital is somewhere around 6.5%, I think is the low point for us and today this quarter we may not be every level, but almost 16%. This reflects the focus on store size right for the community, putting the right amount of capital and then upping our performance out the gate and all things produced much better returns on capital.

Mark Miller - William Blair

Okay. So, wealth of opportunity. Happy 29 Cindy.

Operator

Thank you. We'll go next to Scott Van Winkle with Canaccord Genuity. Please go ahead.

Scott Van Winkle - Canaccord Genuity

Guys, can we talk a little bit about the fourth quarter store opening. I think a lot of Johnnie’s Foodmaster stores are in that opening in the fourth quarter if I am not mistaken. Is there any challenges with kind of a clustered regional opening and is there anything other than the higher level of preopening if you are opening up a dozen stores that we should think about being deleveraged gross margin etcetera, etcetera?

John Mackey

Yes, David. I know we just opened a first store of Foodmaster, there was Brooklyn doing much better than expected. It's actually the smallest one, so we start to accelerate that over the next few months. So, great thing is, we have the power of the whole company. For some reasons, we are actually little slower right now in terms of their growth, so they are pitching in and helping us open up the stores, so it's kind of all hands on deck in Boston to get those stores open and Brooklyn store is a good indicators was actually the first I believe on the time we did the deals and time we opened, which is just about one month. So, all of those going to accelerate and all be opened by the end of the fiscal year and it's Brooklyn and the indicator is off to a good start.

Scott Van Winkle - Canaccord Genuity

Is it too early to say from experience of taken six leases and a chunk like that from other retailer that you might replicate that strategy in the future?

David Lannon

I'm bullish about the potentially doing that.

John Mackey

One thing also that makes this little more easy to open all these stores up is that, they are all right in the Boston area in the core part of the region, and so there is a lot of stores that have been there for many, many years. There is lots of experienced team members, so it is a lot easier than if these stores were far along all over the country and even all over New England, and they are a lot easier to do cluster of stores when it is this close to your regional office.

David Lannon

Also, one last thing, it's David Lannon, was that we were surprised actually by how good talent Johnnie's Foodmaster stores had, so we've actually got a lot of culturally a lot of great new team members that have joined our company and are going to be working in those stores.

John Mackey

I do think more opportunities like this are going to occur. I mean the food retailing industry is undergoing a sea change of transformation. You have got strong regional players consolidating their positions and lots of smaller independence are basically either closing their doors or looking to get out. That’s put some inventory on the market. So we don’t have anything obviously else to announce but I think there will be additional opportunities for us in the future.

Operator

Thank you. We will go next to Kate Wendt with Wells Fargo Securities. Please go ahead.

Kate Wendt - Wells Fargo Securities

Thanks and happy birthday to Cindy as well. I just wanted quickly to ask you about your updated thoughts regarding introducing a loyalty program. We noticed some hints that you might move in this direction. In a recent job posting it would obviously give you a lot more insight in your customer shopping patterns and maybe also allow you better reinforcing your pricing message.

John Mackey

It is something we are looking at but we honestly don’t have anything to announce about it today. We wouldn’t do the kind of loyalty program that other traditional food retailers are doing. We are not to impressed with those type of programs. But we are looking at something that will have a unique Whole Foods Market flavor to it. We don’t have anything imminent.

Walter Robb

This is Walter. There's all the ducks around the pond in the room. All the ducks are very calm about the water but our feet are definitely paddling below the water but nothing to really show you.

Operator

Thank you. We will take our final question from Bob Summers with Susquehanna. Please go ahead.

Bob Summers - Susquehanna

So you guys have been the process of redefining peak contribution margin here and I guess acknowledging that you are going to have some variability around gross margin investment. Have you thought about where that number could go?

Within that, either behind the comp strength over the last several years is the leverage off of comps linear? Or is it starting to become more exponential?

Walter Robb

We are not going to quickly move in on this, John.

John Mackey

He can start.

Walter Robb

This is Walter. We are not going to put a cap on the thing. I think we have said a lot of times when we were together is that look our strength is in building sales. Our goal is to build long-term sales and that continue to build the growth of the company, the value of the company that way. So we continue to gain leverage. If you look at DSC results for example, its continued to just be there quarter-after-quarter

So we haven't put any sort of peak numbers on it. We are obviously finding new highs right now. We are not searching peak margin here. We are just continuing to operate our business and the results are coming as a result of that. So the disciplines are real. The disciplines are good. I think we can say now that we are going to continue to be disciplined as we grow the business.

A. C. Gallo

As what we have been saying in the last few quarters, so maybe it's important just to reiterate it. We think that, over time, due to competitive realities and then our desire to invest in price to expand our market through a bigger customer base although you haven't seen too much shift, you will see slowly trending gross margins, slightly downward. But we think that we can more than offset that with leverage both in our direct store expenses as well as our G&A.

So we are hoping to take cost out of our system as we get more scale and we hope to offset some of the price investment with economies of scale in purchasing as well as continued differentiation of products that's not easily matched by our competitors. So it's what we have been guiding for. We are still sticking with it. We have done a good job of leveraging some of our cost.

Although we are making price investments right now, so far we have been able to offset those investments with new unique products that we can get better margins on that are well differentiated as well as some economies of scale on the buy side. So, we are sticking with our guidance that we have said and I hope we certainly do plan to continue to leverage our expenses.

Bob Summers - Susquehanna

Then one related question. You referenced the strong returns in the quarter. There is typically seasonality whether stronger in the second and third but it seemed like the strength was beyond what you typically expect. And all these things contribute, but anything standout as a single item that was driving sort of the above sequential uptick in NOPAT ROIC?

John Mackey

I think a couple of things that they were mentioning. Again, Whole Foods Market has done a much better job. We are investing less capital in our stores. That's getting us with a lot less depreciation. Our new stores are performing extremely well relative to any historical time period in over 30-year. We have never had new stores on average, particularly as many new stores that are, there used to be a lot of holes in the boat. These stores would be losing money in and have negative EBITDA or maybe driving it down or some of them would. And we are seeing very few stores in that category, so overall we are very pleased with our new store performance and that's helping to lift it up.

As well as we continue to see our older smaller stores continue to comp very well. It's just how high can they go? I mean, a lot of these stores are producing 100% return on invested capital every year. It's pretty phenomenal, and so a lot of things are, we are getting better at running our business at the bottom line.

Walter Robb

I'd just say, I think our operating group particularly led by David and Ken. Assume their positions in the last year, just doing a superb job with the operating group to produce these results, continue to work on our innovation as well as the growth and discipline in our business. Also, just want to call out our team members. We did celebrate Team Member Appreciation Week, this past quarter and once they once there was a Double Discount Day for the team members.

We got almost 80,000 of the world's finest team members and I think our morale and we talked about the secret sauce of the company many times, but it's a little softer than this crowd likes to talk about, but it's a real thing. And if you go into stores, you can feel it and I think there is a lot of things working in the right direction here that team members feel happy and productive and that creates a good experience for our customers.

Bob Summers - Susquehanna

Great. Thanks.

Walter Robb

Okay. I want to thank everybody for listening in. Please join us in late July for our third quarter earnings call. A transcript of the first portion of this call along with the recording of the call is available on our website. We'll talk to everybody in a couple of months. Take care.

Operator

This does conclude today's teleconference. We appreciate your participation. You may disconnect now and have a great day.

Copyright policy: All transcripts on this site are the copyright of Seeking Alpha. However, we view them as an important resource for bloggers and journalists, and are excited to contribute to the democratization of financial information on the Internet. (Until now investors have had to pay thousands of dollars in subscription fees for transcripts.) So our reproduction policy is as follows: You may quote up to 400 words of any transcript on the condition that you attribute the transcript to Seeking Alpha and either link to the original transcript or to www.SeekingAlpha.com. All other use is prohibited.

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HERE IS A TEXTUAL REPRESENTATION OF THE APPLICABLE COMPANY'S CONFERENCE CALL, CONFERENCE PRESENTATION OR OTHER AUDIO PRESENTATION, AND WHILE EFFORTS ARE MADE TO PROVIDE AN ACCURATE TRANSCRIPTION, THERE MAY BE MATERIAL ERRORS, OMISSIONS, OR INACCURACIES IN THE REPORTING OF THE SUBSTANCE OF THE AUDIO PRESENTATIONS. IN NO WAY DOES SEEKING ALPHA ASSUME ANY RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY INVESTMENT OR OTHER DECISIONS MADE BASED UPON THE INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THIS WEB SITE OR IN ANY TRANSCRIPT. USERS ARE ADVISED TO REVIEW THE APPLICABLE COMPANY'S AUDIO PRESENTATION ITSELF AND THE APPLICABLE COMPANY'S SEC FILINGS BEFORE MAKING ANY INVESTMENT OR OTHER DECISIONS.

If you have any additional questions about our online transcripts, please contact us at: transcripts@seekingalpha.com. Thank you!

Source: Whole Foods Market's CEO Discusses Q1 2013 Results - Earnings Call Transcript
This Transcript
All Transcripts