Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFM) Short Interest Update
Whole Foods Market Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) was the recipient of a significant increase in short interest during the month of September. As of September 30th, there was short interest totalling 36,395,751 shares, an increase of 8.1% from the September 15th total of 33,674,128 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 4,037,431 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 9.0 days. Approximately 11.5% of the company’s shares are sold short.
A number of analysts recently issued reports on the company. RBC Capital Markets set a $37.00 price target on Whole Foods Market and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, July 28th. Credit Suisse Group AG lowered their price target on Whole Foods Market from $40.00 to $28.07 and set a “focus list” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, August 4th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Whole Foods Market from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, August 25th. Royal Bank Of Canada restated an “outperform” rating and set a $37.00 target price on shares of Whole Foods Market in a report on Wednesday, June 22nd. Finally, Vetr lowered Whole Foods Market from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $29.97 target price for the company. in a report on Monday, August 15th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have issued a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and three have issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $30.28.
Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) opened at 28.93 on Thursday. Whole Foods Market has a 52 week low of $27.67 and a 52 week high of $35.58. The company has a 50-day moving average of $29.09 and a 200-day moving average of $30.83. The stock has a market capitalization of $9.22 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.52 and a beta of 0.82.
Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.37 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.37. Whole Foods Market had a net margin of 3.03% and a return on equity of 15.55%. The firm earned $3.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.73 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.43 earnings per share. Whole Foods Market’s quarterly revenue was up 2.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that Whole Foods Market will post $1.51 earnings per share for the current year.
The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 14th. Stockholders of record on Monday, October 3rd will be issued a $0.135 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 29th. This represents a $0.54 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.87%. Whole Foods Market’s payout ratio is 37.76%.
In other news, Director Shahid M. Hassan sold 7,916 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.41, for a total transaction of $224,893.56. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Insiders own 1.09% of the company’s stock.
Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Whole Foods Market by 62.3% in the third quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 101,578 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,880,000 after buying an additional 39,000 shares during the last quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. boosted its stake in shares of Whole Foods Market by 19.8% in the third quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 119,311 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,382,000 after buying an additional 19,720 shares during the last quarter. Culbertson A N & Co. Inc. acquired a new stake in shares of Whole Foods Market during the third quarter worth approximately $216,000. Creative Planning boosted its stake in shares of Whole Foods Market by 23.9% in the third quarter. Creative Planning now owns 28,833 shares of the company’s stock worth $817,000 after buying an additional 5,566 shares during the last quarter. Finally, North Star Investment Management Corp. boosted its stake in shares of Whole Foods Market by 973.7% in the third quarter. North Star Investment Management Corp. now owns 40,800 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,157,000 after buying an additional 37,000 shares during the last quarter. 86.38% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Whole Foods Market Company Profile
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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