Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) Stock Rating Reaffirmed by Wells Fargo & Company
Several other analysts also recently commented on WFM. UBS AG reissued a sell rating and issued a $25.00 price objective on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research note on Friday, April 14th. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued a buy rating and issued a $42.00 price objective on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research note on Tuesday, July 18th. BidaskClub downgraded Whole Foods Market from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. SunTrust Banks, Inc. downgraded Whole Foods Market from a buy rating to a hold rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $40.00 to $42.00 in a research note on Tuesday, June 20th. Finally, Vetr raised Whole Foods Market from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $46.16 price objective for the company in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $37.67.
Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ WFM) opened at 41.82 on Wednesday. Whole Foods Market has a 1-year low of $27.67 and a 1-year high of $43.84. The company has a market capitalization of $13.39 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.45 and a beta of 0.82. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $41.16 and a 200-day moving average price of $34.55.
Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.36 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.33 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $3.73 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.72 billion. Whole Foods Market had a return on equity of 13.26% and a net margin of 2.44%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.37 earnings per share. On average, analysts forecast that Whole Foods Market will post $1.32 EPS for the current fiscal year.
Whole Foods Market declared that its board has approved a share buyback program on Wednesday, May 10th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.25 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to repurchase up to 10.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, July 11th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 30th were issued a $0.18 dividend. This is a positive change from Whole Foods Market’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.72%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, June 28th. Whole Foods Market’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 59.02%.
In related news, insider Angela Lorenzen sold 1,431 shares of the stock in a transaction 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 sale, the insider now owns 1,131 shares in the company, valued at $41,100.54. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Juan Nunez sold 14,502 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.52, for a total value of $399,095.04. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 5,746 shares in the company, valued at approximately $158,129.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 18,466 shares of company stock valued at $543,688 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.
Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its stake in shares of Whole Foods Market by 1.6% in the first quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 143,522 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,265,000 after buying an additional 2,300 shares during the period. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH increased its stake in shares of Whole Foods Market by 16.8% in the first quarter. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH now owns 512,229 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,938,000 after buying an additional 73,498 shares during the period. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its stake in shares of Whole Foods Market by 17.1% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 37,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,138,000 after buying an additional 5,400 shares during the period. Everence Capital Management Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Whole Foods Market during the first quarter worth about $383,000. Finally, IFP Advisors Inc increased its stake in shares of Whole Foods Market by 52.5% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 17,547 shares of the company’s stock worth $522,000 after buying an additional 6,044 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 89.32% 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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