Whole Foods Market, Inc. (WFM) Lowered to “Market Perform” at Wells Fargo & Company
Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) was downgraded by equities researchers at Wells Fargo & Company from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday, July 11th, MarketBeat Ratings reports. They presently have a $42.00 price target on the stock, down from their previous price target of $45.00. Wells Fargo & Company’s target price indicates a potential upside of 0.45% from the stock’s previous close.
Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on WFM. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $36.00 price target on shares of Whole Foods Market in a report on Wednesday, April 5th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “hold” rating and set a $38.00 target price (up previously from $28.00) on shares of Whole Foods Market in a report on Thursday, May 11th. UBS AG upgraded shares of Whole Foods Market from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $42.00 target price on the stock in a report on Monday, July 10th. Barclays PLC upgraded shares of Whole Foods Market from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and boosted their target price for the company from $38.00 to $48.00 in a report on Friday, June 16th. Finally, Gordon Haskett cut shares of Whole Foods Market from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $42.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, June 26th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. Whole Foods Market has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $38.06.
Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ WFM) opened at 41.81 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $13.38 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.44 and a beta of 0.82. Whole Foods Market has a 52 week low of $27.67 and a 52 week high of $43.84. The company’s 50-day moving average is $41.52 and its 200 day moving average is $34.78.
Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.36 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.33 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $3.73 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.72 billion. Whole Foods Market had a net margin of 2.85% and a return on equity of 13.51%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.37 earnings per share. On average, analysts forecast that Whole Foods Market will post $1.34 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Whole Foods Market declared that its board has approved a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, May 10th that permits the company to buyback $1.25 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to purchase up to 10.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
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In related news, insider Laura A. Derba sold 2,200 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.48, for a total transaction of $80,256.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 3,418 shares in the company, valued at approximately $124,688.64. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Angela Lorenzen sold 1,431 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, May 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.34, for a total value of $52,002.54. Following the sale, the insider now owns 1,131 shares in the company, valued at approximately $41,100.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 18,466 shares of company stock valued at $543,688 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WFM. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Whole Foods Market by 3,657.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 26,099,592 shares of the company’s stock worth $775,680,000 after buying an additional 25,404,982 shares during the last quarter. Parnassus Investments CA raised its stake in Whole Foods Market by 29.2% in the first quarter. Parnassus Investments CA now owns 7,825,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $232,559,000 after buying an additional 1,770,000 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC raised its stake in Whole Foods Market by 774.7% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,588,848 shares of the company’s stock worth $47,221,000 after buying an additional 1,407,200 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Whole Foods Market by 3.6% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 30,861,862 shares of the company’s stock worth $917,214,000 after buying an additional 1,081,667 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in Whole Foods Market by 40.2% in the first quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 3,050,285 shares of the company’s stock worth $90,647,000 after buying an additional 874,149 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 88.23% of the company’s stock.
About Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods Market, Inc is engaged in the business of natural and organic foods supermarket. The Company operates approximately 456 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Its stores have an average size of approximately 39,000 square feet, and are supported by its distribution centers, bake house facilities, commissary kitchens, seafood-processing facilities, a produce procurement center, and a specialty coffee and tea procurement and roasting operation, among others.
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