Shares of Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) have been assigned an average recommendation of “Hold” from the twenty-eight research firms that are covering the firm, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, twenty have given a hold recommendation and four have assigned a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12-month price objective among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $37.85.

WFM has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. Wells Fargo & Company reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Whole Foods Market in a report on Wednesday, July 26th. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $38.00 price target (up from $28.00) on shares of Whole Foods Market in a report on Thursday, May 11th. UBS AG upgraded Whole Foods Market from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $42.00 price target for the company in a report on Monday, July 10th. Barclays PLC upgraded Whole Foods Market from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating and increased their price target for the stock from $38.00 to $48.00 in a report on Friday, June 16th. Finally, Gordon Haskett cut Whole Foods Market from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $42.00 price target for the company. in a report on Monday, June 26th.

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In related news, insider Angela Lorenzen sold 1,431 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.34, for a total transaction of $52,002.54. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 1,131 shares in the company, valued at approximately $41,100.54. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, insider Laura A. Derba sold 2,200 shares of the firm’s 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 transaction, the insider now owns 3,418 shares in the company, valued at approximately $124,688.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 18,133 shares of company stock worth $531,354 in the last three months. Corporate insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in WFM. Capital Impact Advisors LLC increased its position in Whole Foods Market by 37.3% in the first quarter. Capital Impact Advisors LLC now owns 92,114 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,737,000 after buying an additional 25,034 shares in the last quarter. DnB Asset Management AS increased its position in Whole Foods Market by 15.8% in the first quarter. DnB Asset Management AS now owns 47,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,397,000 after buying an additional 6,400 shares in the last quarter. Addison Capital Co increased its position in Whole Foods Market by 0.4% in the first quarter. Addison Capital Co now owns 57,072 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,696,000 after buying an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. increased its position in Whole Foods Market by 1.3% in the first quarter. Capstone Asset Management Co. now owns 120,621 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,585,000 after buying an additional 1,510 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can increased its position in Whole Foods Market by 42.5% in the first quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 361,626 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,748,000 after buying an additional 107,907 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 87.89% of the company’s stock.

Whole Foods Market (WFM) traded down 0.19% on Friday, reaching $41.75. 9,484,487 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Whole Foods Market has a 52 week low of $27.67 and a 52 week high of $43.84. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $41.95 and a 200-day moving average price of $35.32. The stock has a market capitalization of $13.37 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.39 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 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.33 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $3.73 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.72 billion. Whole Foods Market had a return on equity of 13.26% and a net margin of 2.44%. The company’s revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.37 EPS. On average, analysts predict that Whole Foods Market will post $1.34 earnings per share for the current year.

Whole Foods Market announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase program on Wednesday, May 10th that allows the company to buyback $1.25 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to reacquire up to 10.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are 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.

Analyst Recommendations for Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM)

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