Vetr Inc. Upgrades Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) to “Buy”

Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) was upgraded by investment analysts at Vetr from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Friday. The firm currently has a $46.16 price objective on the stock. Vetr‘s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 10.25% from the company’s previous close.

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on WFM. UBS AG assumed coverage on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research note on Thursday, March 23rd. They issued a “sell” rating and a $25.00 target price on the stock. Barclays PLC reaffirmed an “equal weight” rating and issued a $30.00 target price on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research note on Monday, March 27th. SunTrust Banks, Inc. reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research note on Wednesday, March 29th. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $36.00 target price on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research note on Wednesday, April 5th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research note on Monday, April 10th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-two have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Whole Foods Market has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $37.42.

Shares of Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) opened at 41.89 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $13.39 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.35 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 stock has a 50 day moving average of $37.57 and a 200-day moving average of $33.06.

Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 10th. The company reported $0.37 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.37. The firm had revenue of $3.74 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.73 billion. Whole Foods Market had a net margin of 2.54% and a return on equity of 13.72%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 99.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.44 EPS. Analysts expect that Whole Foods Market will post $1.30 earnings per share for the current year.

Whole Foods Market declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback program on Wednesday, May 10th that allows the company to buyback $1.25 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to reacquire up to 10.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

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In other Whole Foods Market news, insider Juan Nunez sold 14,502 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.52, for a total transaction 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 sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Angela Lorenzen sold 1,431 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.34, for a total value of $52,002.54. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 1,131 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $41,100.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 18,466 shares of company stock valued at $543,688. Insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its position in 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 valued at $4,265,000 after buying an additional 2,300 shares in the last quarter. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH increased its position in 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 valued at $14,938,000 after buying an additional 73,498 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its position in Whole Foods Market by 17.1% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 37,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,138,000 after buying an additional 5,400 shares in the last quarter. Everence Capital Management Inc. purchased a new position in Whole Foods Market during the first quarter valued at about $383,000. Finally, IFP Advisors Inc increased its position in Whole Foods Market by 52.5% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 17,547 shares of the company’s stock valued at $522,000 after buying an additional 6,044 shares in the last quarter. 89.58% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM)

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