Whole Foods Ready For Earnings As FTC Hearing Begins (WFMI, OATS)

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Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFMI) and Wild Oats Markets, Inc. (NASDAQ:OATS) today are in a preliminary injunction hearing to begin today that will end tomorrow to decide whether to approve the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s application for an injunction to block the proposed merger between the two companies. Whole Foods Market and Wild Oats Markets have consented to a temporary restraining order pending the hearing.  On last look Whole Foods received 58% of Wild Oats shares in tender at the $18.50 per share buyout.  The FTC complaint and attempt to block the merger was filed on June 7, 2007.  Both Whole Foods and Wild Oats are challenging the FTC’s opposition to the merger.

Also, today after the close will be the earnings report for Whole Foods.  Here is our full preview from yesterday.  The short version is that consensus estimates are $0.33 EPS on $1.54 Billion in revenues.  We also had another article yesterday noting how Wild Oats may need to restructure its entire cost structure if the company is not acquired.

Jon C. Ogg
July 31, 2007

Jon Ogg can be reached at jonogg@247wallst.com; he does not own securities in the companies he covers.