Sprouts Farmers Market Inc. reported Thursday second-quarter earnings and revenue that matched expectations, and affirmed its sales outlook. The natural and organic grocer’s stock was still inactive in premarket trade. Net income rose to $41.7 million, or 32 cents a share, from $41.0 million, or 29 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. The FactSet consensus for earnings per share was 32 cents. Revenue rose to $1.32 billion from $1.18 billion and same-store sales increased 2.0%, with both matching the FactSet consensus. Direct store expense increased 16% to $273 million, representing a rise to 20.7% of sales from 19.9%, due primarily to planned wage increases resulting from savings from recent tax legislation, as well as increased healthcare costs. The company affirmed its 2018 sales growth outlook of 10.5% to 11.5%, while bumping up its EPS outlook to $1.24 to $1.28 from $1.22 to $1.28. Separately, the company appointed Dave McGlinchey to the new executive role of chief merchandising officer. McGlinchey was previously senior vice president of merchandising services. The stock has tumbled 13% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 6.7%.
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