Sprouts sprout after Q4 Numbers

Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:SFM) flexed its muscle on markets Thursday, after quarterly figures which fell short on net income.

The Phoenix-based Sprouts revealed fourth-quarter net sales of $1.3 billion; an 11% increase from the same period in 2017. Comparable store sales growth was 2.3% and two-year comparable store sales growth was 6.9%.

Net income proved tobe $13 million, compared to $40 million from the same period in 2017. Adjusted net income was $24 million, compared to $21 million from the same period in 2017.

Sprouts generated cash from operations of $294 million in fiscal 2018 and invested $154 million in capital expenditures net of landlord reimbursement, primarily for new stores. In addition, the company repurchased 11.1 million shares of common stock for a total investment of $258 million in fiscal 2018.

Sprouts ended the year with a $453-million balance on our revolving credit facility, $27 million of letters of credit outstanding under the facility, $2 million in cash and cash equivalents, and $218 million available under our current share repurchase authorization.

Subsequent to the end of the year and through February 18, the company has repurchased 850 thousand shares of common stock for a total investment of $20 million.

CEO Brad Lukow said, "Through our solid operating cash flows, we continue to self-fund our store unit growth and strategic initiatives and, in keeping with our capital structure strategy, returned more than $250 million to our shareholders through share repurchases in 2018."

Shares sprinted nearly 25 cents, or 1%, to $24.39.