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Fresh Market stock tumbles to 6-month low

November 28, 2012: 12:43 PM ET

Click the chart to track shares of The Fresh Market.

The Fresh Market (TFM) stock plunged to a six-month low Wednesday after the specialty grocer missed earnings expectations and announced that its CFO will step down next month.

Shares of Greensboro, NC-based company tumbled as much as 19% to $49 a share -- the lowest level since late May.

Fresh Market's third-quarter profit rose 19% to $10.9 million, or 23 cents per share, but that was short of the 26 cents per share that analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had forecast.

Sales during the quarter jumped 21% to $321.5 million, coming in slightly above the $319 million analyst were looking for.

In addition to its earnings, Fresh Market also announced that CFO Lisa Klinger will leave her post in December to take a similar position at a private equity-backed clothing retailer.

The earnings miss and management change gave StockTwits traders plenty to talk about.

Kenshreve: Double whammy for $TFM: earnings miss and CFO resignation; stock down 16% in pre-mkt.

ipoguy: $TFM When these high PE stocks don't deliver they get crushed. With earnings of less than $1.10, TFM could sell at 25. Then CFO leaves...

Prior to the day's sell-off, shares of Fresh Market were trading at almost 44 times 2013 earnings expectations.

With the day's pullback, the stock's price-to-earnings ratio is still a lofty 35, in line with rival Whole Foods (WFM). But some believe Fresh Market's stock deserves a slightly higher price.

tickertutor: $TFM I think the comparisons to $WFM are grossly exaggerated... $TFM should trade at a multiple putting it in the low 40's imo.

Opinterest: $TFM sell off overdone. See if we get Inverted Mohawk here.

Mahmissa: $WFM has jacked up its bakery prices by nearly 20%. Yet sugar content remained the same.

Some also think investors may be overreacting to the management change, saying the upcoming departure of  Klinger, who joined the company in March 2009  and led it through its initial public offering in 2010, shouldn't be a surprise.

abubnic: All of the key execs at $TFM are in their 40's. Not so unusual for CFO to take another (similar) job.

Fresh Market said it will begin to search for a new CFO, but until then, COO Sean Crane will assume the role.

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