Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFM) Stock Rating Lowered by Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
Whole Foods Market Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) was downgraded by stock analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday. They currently have a $31.00 price objective on the stock. Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s target price would suggest a potential upside of 7.42% from the stock’s current price.
Several other research firms also recently weighed in on WFM. Wedbush restated a “neutral” rating and set a $32.00 price target (up previously from $29.00) on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research report on Friday, June 17th. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Whole Foods Market in a report on Tuesday, July 12th. Macquarie upgraded shares of Whole Foods Market from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, July 25th. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $28.00 price objective on shares of Whole Foods Market in a report on Tuesday, March 29th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reiterated an “outperform” rating and issued a $38.00 price objective on shares of Whole Foods Market in a report on Wednesday, July 20th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have given a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and three have issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $30.28.
Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) traded down 1.60% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $28.86. 6,674,112 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock has a market cap of $9.20 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.47 and a beta of 0.82. Whole Foods Market has a 12 month low of $27.67 and a 12 month high of $35.58. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $29.25 and a 200-day moving average price of $30.90.
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Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.37 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate 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 the consensus estimate of $3.73 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.43 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Whole Foods Market will post $1.51 earnings per share for the current year.
The company 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. This represents a $0.54 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.87%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 29th. Whole Foods Market’s payout ratio is 37.76%.
In other 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 filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. 1.09% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of WFM. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Whole Foods Market by 21.0% in the fourth quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 24,552,616 shares of the company’s stock valued at $822,512,000 after buying an additional 4,268,094 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its stake in shares of Whole Foods Market by 6.2% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 5,345,333 shares of the company’s stock valued at $171,158,000 after buying an additional 314,346 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in shares of Whole Foods Market during the fourth quarter valued at $165,182,000. Sustainable Growth Advisers LP increased its stake in shares of Whole Foods Market by 22.0% in the second quarter. Sustainable Growth Advisers LP now owns 4,595,810 shares of the company’s stock valued at $147,158,000 after buying an additional 828,443 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. increased its stake in shares of Whole Foods Market by 14.9% in the second quarter. Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. now owns 3,586,937 shares of the company’s stock valued at $114,854,000 after buying an additional 466,437 shares during the last quarter. 86.38% of the stock is currently 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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