National organic grocery Whole Foods Market Inc. recently experienced a drop in shares of nearly 19 percent after it reduced its sales and profit outlook for the third time in six months.
The cuts signaled the intensifying competition the grocery chain faces in the organic and natural foods market, according to The Associated Press. Its flat earnings report in the latest quarter revealed its most stagnant streak of sales growth since early in the nation’s economic recovery more than four years ago.
This year, Whole Foods expects to earn $1.52 to $1.56 a share, down from its previous forecast of $1.58 to $1.65 a share, according to the AP. Profits in the latest quarter this year stayed the same as one year earlier at $142 million, or 38 cents a share. Revenue rose $3.32 billion. Sales at established locations are expected to rise by 5 to 5.5 percent, which is still lower than its previous forecast of 5.5 to 6.2 percent, the AP reported.
Whole Foods, which operates 379 stores nationwide with 114 stores in development, has five stores in Fairfield County, according to its website.