Shares of Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) have been assigned an average rating of “Hold” from the twenty-eight research firms that are covering the stock, Marketbeat.com reports. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, twenty have given a hold recommendation and four have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 1 year target price among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $37.85.

Several equities analysts recently issued reports on WFM shares. Wolfe Research upgraded Whole Foods Market from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Tuesday, May 2nd. Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $40.00 price target on shares of Whole Foods Market in a report on Sunday, April 23rd. Zacks Investment Research cut Whole Foods Market from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, May 1st. Vetr lowered Whole Foods Market from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $35.59 target price on the stock. in a research note on Monday, May 8th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company raised Whole Foods Market from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $42.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Thursday, May 11th.

In other Whole Foods Market news, insider Angela Lorenzen sold 1,431 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.34, for a total value of $52,002.54. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 1,131 shares in the company, valued at $41,100.54. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Juan Nunez sold 14,502 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.52, for a total value of $399,095.04. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 5,746 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $158,129.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.30% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Capital Impact Advisors LLC increased its position in Whole Foods Market by 37.3% in the first quarter. Capital Impact Advisors LLC now owns 92,114 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,737,000 after buying an additional 25,034 shares in the last quarter. DnB Asset Management AS increased its position in Whole Foods Market by 15.8% in the first quarter. DnB Asset Management AS now owns 47,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,397,000 after buying an additional 6,400 shares in the last quarter. Addison Capital Co increased its position in Whole Foods Market by 0.4% in the first quarter. Addison Capital Co now owns 57,072 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,696,000 after buying an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. increased its position in Whole Foods Market by 1.3% in the first quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 120,621 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,585,000 after buying an additional 1,510 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can increased its position in Whole Foods Market by 42.5% in the first quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 361,626 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,748,000 after buying an additional 107,907 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 86.33% of the company’s stock.

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Shares of Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ WFM) traded down 0.22% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $41.77. 2,078,673 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $41.92 and its 200 day moving average price is $35.46. Whole Foods Market has a 52-week low of $27.67 and a 52-week high of $43.84. The firm has a market capitalization of $13.38 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.41 and a beta of 0.82.

Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.36 earnings per share (EPS) 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 return on equity of 13.26% and a net margin of 2.44%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.37 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Whole Foods Market will post $1.34 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Whole Foods Market announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback plan on Wednesday, May 10th that permits the company to repurchase $1.25 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to buy up to 10.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

Whole Foods Market Company Profile

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM)

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