Monday, February 23, 2009

Whole Foods: Cut Capex But UK Expansion?

Whole Foods Market Inc.(WFMI) reported improved cash flows, reductions in debt, successful preferred share issue; and generally looked rather good. The margins are down but they claim seasonality. Comparable revenues are down and I blame cash strapped consumers and a slowly growing availability of organic products at traditional food retailers. They are expanding into the UK and any market needs economies of scale. So far they are referring to decisions in August to cut capex and reduce costs. But they still insist on the UK being a future driver of growth and profits. There is a conflict here. Whole Foods will most certainly hit a few potholes along the way because of this one.