Whole Foods Market Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) was the target of a large decline in short interest in August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 32,485,983 shares, a decline of 12.2% from the August 15th total of 36,983,826 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 5,277,024 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 6.2 days. Approximately 10.3% of the shares of the company are sold short.
Several research firms have commented on WFM. Vetr lowered shares of Whole Foods Market from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $38.47 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, June 6th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lowered shares of Whole Foods Market from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $31.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, July 26th. Piper Jaffray Cos. reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $29.00 target price on shares of Whole Foods Market in a report on Sunday, June 12th. Pivotal Research reissued a “sell” rating and issued a $20.00 target price on shares of Whole Foods Market in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reissued an “underperform” rating and issued a $23.00 target price on shares of Whole Foods Market in a report on Monday, July 25th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have assigned a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and three have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $30.29.
In other Whole Foods Market news, Director Shahid M. Hassan sold 7,916 shares of Whole Foods Market stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.41, for a total value of $224,893.56. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. 1.09% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Meyer Handelman Co. raised its stake in shares of Whole Foods Market by 4.7% in the fourth quarter. Meyer Handelman Co. now owns 44,400 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,487,000 after buying an additional 2,000 shares during the last quarter. Stifel Financial Corp raised its stake in shares of Whole Foods Market by 18.2% in the fourth quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 202,375 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,783,000 after buying an additional 31,164 shares during the last quarter. Pioneer Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Whole Foods Market by 250.7% in the fourth quarter. Pioneer Investment Management Inc. now owns 403,026 shares of the company’s stock worth $13,501,000 after buying an additional 288,102 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank acquired a new stake in shares of Whole Foods Market during the fourth quarter worth approximately $165,182,000. Finally, DnB Asset Management AS raised its stake in shares of Whole Foods Market by 97.9% in the first quarter. DnB Asset Management AS now owns 47,500 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,478,000 after buying an additional 23,500 shares during the last quarter. 86.38% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
Shares of Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) opened at 28.59 on Thursday. Whole Foods Market has a 1-year low of $27.67 and a 1-year high of $35.58. The company has a market cap of $9.11 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.28 and a beta of 0.74. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $29.96 and a 200 day moving average of $31.31.
Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.37 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.37. Whole Foods Market had a return on equity of 15.55% and a net margin of 3.03%. The company earned $3.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.73 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.43 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Whole Foods Market will post $1.51 EPS for the current year.
About Whole Foods Market
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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