Operator: Good day, everyone and welcome to today's Whole Foods Second Quarter Earnings. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. Later, you will have the opportunity to ask questions during the Q&A session. Please note I will be standing by if you should need any assistance.
It is now my pleasure to turn the call over to Cindy McCann. Please go ahead.
Cindy McCann - VP of IR: Good afternoon and thank you for joining us. On today's call are John Mackey and Walter Robb, Co-Chief Executive Officers; A.C. Gallo, President; Glenda Flanagan, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; Jim Sud, Executive Vice President of Growth and Development; and David Lannon and Ken Meyer, Executive Vice Presidents of Operations.
As a reminder, all forward-looking statements on this call are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations and assumptions discussed today. This may be due to a variety of factors including the risks outlined in our Company's most recently filed Form 10-K. Please note our press release and scripted remarks are available on our website. We assume you've read our press release so we will use this time to focus on highlights from the quarter as well as our future outlook.
I will now turn the call over to John Mackey.
John Mackey - Company-CEO: Thank you, Cindy. Good afternoon, everyone. In Q2 we delivered another quarter of strong sales and earnings growth producing a 19% increase in earnings per share on a 13% increase in sales. We reported record results on many levels including average weekly sales per store of $725,000 translating to sales per gross square foot of $991, gross margin of 36.4%, store contribution of 11%, operating margin of 7.5%, EBITDA margin of 10.1%, and a return on invested capital of 16.7%.
Our solid performance and capital discipline generated $178 million in free cash flow. We invested $109 million in new and existing stores, repurchased $37 million of stock, and returned $37 million in dividends to our shareholders. We ended the quarter with $1.3 billion in cash and investments and $409 million in share repurchase authority.
We reported 6.6% identical store sales growth and I'm pleased with the momentum we saw during the quarter. Our idents accelerated from 6.1% for the first three weeks to 6.7% for the last nine weeks. On a two year basis, our idents held steady at 15% throughout the quarter.
Our identical store sales growth was driven by approximately equal increases in transaction count and basket size. We attribute this shift in the mix primarily to more severe winter weather in several regions this year versus last, which resulted in customers making fewer trips and buying larger baskets per trip. In our regions not impacted by weather, we were closer to our 60-40 historical mix.
In addition to the weather impact, we also had another tougher comparison in transaction count as we saw 110 basis point increase from Q1 to Q2 of 2012. We are not aware of any public food retailers producing these levels of same-store sales results and believe our efforts around value and differentiation continue to be a significant contributor to our market share gains.