Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFM) Short Interest Down 8.5% in November
Whole Foods Market Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) was the target of a significant drop in short interest during the month of November. As of November 15th, there was short interest totalling 32,466,953 shares, a drop of 8.5% from the October 31st total of 35,493,890 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 8,335,186 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 3.9 days. Currently, 10.3% of the shares of the company are sold short.
WFM has been the subject of several recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Whole Foods Market from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, September 26th. Vetr raised shares of Whole Foods Market from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $31.97 target price for the company in a report on Monday, August 29th. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $40.00 target price on shares of Whole Foods Market in a report on Thursday, October 27th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reissued a “sell” rating and set a $28.00 target price (down previously from $31.00) on shares of Whole Foods Market in a report on Tuesday, September 13th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. reduced their target price on shares of Whole Foods Market from $33.00 to $30.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, September 13th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have issued a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. Whole Foods Market presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $30.20.
In related news, insider Jeff Turnas sold 4,400 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, November 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $30.21, for a total transaction of $132,924.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 6,792 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $205,186.32. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Shahid M. Hassan sold 7,916 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.41, for a total transaction of $224,893.56. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.09% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Dalton Greiner Hartman Maher & Co. purchased a new stake in Whole Foods Market during the second quarter valued at about $474,000. Atria Investments LLC purchased a new stake in Whole Foods Market during the second quarter valued at about $335,000. Macnealy Hoover Investment Management Inc. boosted its stake in Whole Foods Market by 0.9% in the second quarter. Macnealy Hoover Investment Management Inc. now owns 34,475 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,104,000 after buying an additional 300 shares in the last quarter. Exxonmobil Investment Management Inc. TX boosted its stake in Whole Foods Market by 5.1% in the second quarter. Exxonmobil Investment Management Inc. TX now owns 83,098 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,661,000 after buying an additional 4,062 shares in the last quarter. Finally, DNB Asset Management AS boosted its stake in Whole Foods Market by 1.9% in the second quarter. DNB Asset Management AS now owns 48,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,550,000 after buying an additional 900 shares in the last quarter. 83.73% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Shares of Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) opened at 30.39 on Thursday. Whole Foods Market has a 52 week low of $27.67 and a 52 week high of $35.58. The stock has a market capitalization of $9.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.61 and a beta of 0.76. The company’s 50-day moving average is $29.45 and its 200 day moving average is $30.67.
Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 2nd. The company reported $0.28 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.24 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $3.50 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $26.30 million. Whole Foods Market had a net margin of 3.22% and a return on equity of 15.65%. The firm’s revenue was up 1.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.24 EPS. On average, equities analysts forecast that Whole Foods Market will post $1.45 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 24th. Investors of record on Friday, January 13th will be paid a $0.14 dividend. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.84%. This is a boost from Whole Foods Market’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, January 11th. Whole Foods Market’s dividend payout ratio is presently 34.84%.
Whole Foods Market Company Profile
Whole Foods Market, Inc is engaged in operating natural and organic foods supermarkets. The Company’s brands include Allegro Coffee, Whole Foods Market, Whole Paws and Engine 2 Plant-Strong. As of April 10, 2016, the Company operated 441 stores, which include 421 stores in 42 states in the United States and the District of Columbia, 11 stores in Canada, and 9 stores in the United Kingdom.
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