Equities analysts expect Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) to post $3.57 billion in sales for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Seven analysts have made estimates for Whole Foods Market’s earnings, with the highest sales estimate coming in at $3.63 billion and the lowest estimate coming in at $3.51 billion. Whole Foods Market posted sales of $3.50 billion in the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year-over-year growth rate of 2%. The business is expected to report its next quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 1st.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Whole Foods Market will report full-year sales of $3.57 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $15.88 billion to $16.01 billion. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the company will report sales of $16.64 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $16.32 billion to $16.99 billion. Zacks’ sales calculations are an average based on a survey of sell-side research firms that that provide coverage for Whole Foods Market.

Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.36 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.33 by $0.03. Whole Foods Market had a net margin of 2.44% and a return on equity of 13.26%. The business had revenue of $3.73 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.72 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.37 EPS. Whole Foods Market’s revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year.

A number of analysts have recently commented on WFM shares. Vetr raised shares of Whole Foods Market from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $31.24 price objective on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, June 7th. Credit Suisse Group reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $40.00 price objective on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research report on Sunday, April 23rd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Whole Foods Market from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, May 12th. SunTrust Banks, Inc. reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research report on Tuesday, April 11th. Finally, Pivotal Research reissued a “sell” rating and issued a $20.00 price objective on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research report on Friday, April 14th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nineteen have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. Whole Foods Market has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $38.06.

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In other Whole Foods Market news, insider Juan Nunez sold 14,502 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.52, for a total transaction of $399,095.04. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 5,746 shares in the company, valued at $158,129.92. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Angela Lorenzen sold 1,431 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.34, for a total transaction of $52,002.54. Following the sale, the insider now owns 1,131 shares in the company, valued at $41,100.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 18,466 shares of company stock worth $543,688 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Advisory Services Network LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Whole Foods Market during the first quarter worth about $105,000. AT Bancorp purchased a new stake in shares of Whole Foods Market during the second quarter worth about $118,000. Westside Investment Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Whole Foods Market by 406.4% in the first quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. now owns 4,137 shares of the company’s stock worth $125,000 after buying an additional 3,320 shares during the last quarter. Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. increased its stake in shares of Whole Foods Market by 169.1% in the second quarter. Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. now owns 3,428 shares of the company’s stock worth $132,000 after buying an additional 2,154 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Pacer Advisors Inc. increased its stake in shares of Whole Foods Market by 3.4% in the first quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 6,212 shares of the company’s stock worth $185,000 after buying an additional 207 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 87.89% of the company’s stock.

Whole Foods Market (WFM) opened at 41.82 on Tuesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $13.39 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.45 and a beta of 0.82. Whole Foods Market has a 1-year low of $27.67 and a 1-year high of $43.84. The company has a 50-day moving average of $41.52 and a 200-day moving average of $34.78.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, July 11th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 30th were paid a dividend of $0.18 per share. This represents a $0.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.72%. This is an increase from Whole Foods Market’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, June 28th. Whole Foods Market’s dividend payout ratio is presently 59.02%.

Whole Foods Market announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase program on Wednesday, May 10th that permits the company to buyback $1.25 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to purchase up to 10.8% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is 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.

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