Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. increased its stake in shares of Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) by 165.4% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 64,184 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 40,000 shares during the period. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A.’s holdings in Whole Foods Market were worth $2,703,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other large investors also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised 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 valued at $4,265,000 after buying an additional 2,300 shares in the last quarter. Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH raised 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 valued at $14,938,000 after buying an additional 73,498 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. raised 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 valued at $1,138,000 after buying an additional 5,400 shares in the last quarter. Everence Capital Management Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Whole Foods Market during the first quarter valued at about $383,000. Finally, IFP Advisors Inc raised 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 valued at $522,000 after buying an additional 6,044 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 87.89% of the company’s stock.

Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ WFM) opened at 41.85 on Thursday. Whole Foods Market, Inc. has a 12-month low of $27.67 and a 12-month high of $43.84. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $42.03 and a 200-day moving average price of $35.19. The company has a market cap of $13.40 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.47 and a beta of 0.82.

Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.36 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.33 by $0.03. Whole Foods Market had a return on equity of 13.26% and a net margin of 2.44%. The firm had revenue of $3.73 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.72 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.37 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Whole Foods Market, Inc. will post $1.34 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Whole Foods Market declared that its board has approved a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, May 10th that permits the company to buyback $1.25 billion in 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 an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

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Several analysts have issued reports on the company. UBS AG reaffirmed a “sell” rating and issued a $25.00 target price on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research note on Friday, April 14th. Tigress Financial lowered Whole Foods Market from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday. BidaskClub raised Whole Foods Market from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 13th. SunTrust Banks, Inc. lowered Whole Foods Market from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and upped their target price for the stock from $40.00 to $42.00 in a research note on Tuesday, June 20th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research note on Wednesday, July 26th. Four 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. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $38.06.

In related news, insider Laura A. Derba sold 2,200 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.48, for a total value of $80,256.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 3,418 shares in the company, valued at $124,688.64. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Angela Lorenzen sold 1,431 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred 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 completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 1,131 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $41,100.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 18,466 shares of company stock worth $543,688 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 1.30% 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM)

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