Whole Foods Market reported results for the fourth quarter ended September 27, 2015. Total sales increased 6% to a record $3.4 billion.
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Comparable store sales on a constant currency basis decreased 0.2%. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) were $196 million, or 5.7% of sales, and diluted earnings per share were $0.16.
Results included a non-cash asset impairment charge of $46 million, or $0.08 per diluted share, and a restructuring charge of $34 million, or $0.06 per diluted share. Excluding these charges, EBITDA margin was 8.0%, and return on invested capital was 15%.
During the quarter, the company produced $132 million in cash flow from operations, invested $172 million in capital expenditures, returned $47 million in quarterly dividends to shareholders and repurchased $325 million or 9.9 million shares of common stock.
The company ended the quarter with total cash and cash equivalents, restricted cash, and investments of approximately $582 million. Subsequent to the end of the quarter, the company repurchased $60 million or 2.0 million shares of common stock.
Whole Foods Market announced a new capital allocation strategy that reflects confidence in the company's future growth and cash flow generation, while expanding its commitment to return capital to shareholders.
As part of this strategy, the company’s Board of Directors has authorized a new $1 billion share repurchase program, bringing the company’s total share repurchase authorization to $1.3 billion.
In addition, the board declared a 4% increase in the quarterly dividend to $0.135 per share from $0.13 per share, the company’s fifth consecutive dividend increase since reinstating the dividend in 2011.
The next dividend is payable on January 26, 2016 to shareholders of record as of January 15, 2016. Since 2011, the company has returned approximately $2.4 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases. ■