Analysts predict that Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) will announce $3.72 billion in sales for the current quarter, Zacks reports. Seven analysts have provided estimates for Whole Foods Market’s earnings. The highest sales estimate is $3.73 billion and the lowest is $3.71 billion. Whole Foods Market posted sales of $3.70 billion during the same quarter last year, which would indicate a positive year-over-year growth rate of 0.5%. The business is scheduled to announce its next quarterly earnings report after the market closes on Wednesday, July 26th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Whole Foods Market will report full-year sales of $3.72 billion for the current fiscal year, with estimates ranging from $15.87 billion to $15.92 billion. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the firm will post sales of $16.52 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $15.93 billion to $16.89 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales averages are an average based on a survey of analysts that follow Whole Foods Market.

Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, May 10th. The company reported $0.37 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.37. The business had revenue of $3.74 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.73 billion. Whole Foods Market had a return on equity of 13.72% and a net margin of 2.54%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 99.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.44 earnings per share.

WFM has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. SunTrust Banks, Inc. reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research note on Tuesday, April 11th. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $40.00 price target (up previously from $36.00) on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research note on Tuesday, April 11th. Vetr lowered Whole Foods Market from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $38.12 price target on the stock. in a research note on Monday, April 10th. Gordon Haskett assumed coverage on Whole Foods Market in a research note on Tuesday, May 9th. They set a “buy” rating and a $42.00 price target on the stock. Finally, BidaskClub raised Whole Foods Market from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 13th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty-two have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $37.42.

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In other Whole Foods Market news, insider Juan Nunez sold 14,502 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $27.52, for a total value of $399,095.04. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 5,746 shares in the company, valued at $158,129.92. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Laura A. Derba sold 2,200 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.48, for a total transaction of $80,256.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 3,418 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $124,688.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 18,466 shares of company stock valued at $543,688 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of WFM. Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. raised its position in 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 in the last quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC purchased a new position in Whole Foods Market during the first quarter valued at approximately $105,000. Westside Investment Management Inc. raised its position in Whole Foods Market by 406.4% in the first quarter. Westside Investment Management Inc. now owns 4,137 shares of the company’s stock valued at $125,000 after buying an additional 3,320 shares in the last quarter. Baldwin Brothers Inc. MA purchased a new position in Whole Foods Market during the second quarter valued at approximately $190,000. Finally, Appleton Partners Inc. MA purchased a new position in Whole Foods Market during the second quarter valued at approximately $213,000. Institutional investors own 89.58% of the company’s stock.

Whole Foods Market (WFM) remained flat at $41.76 during trading on Wednesday. 4,728,375 shares of the company traded hands. Whole Foods Market has a 52-week low of $27.67 and a 52-week high of $43.84. The company has a 50-day moving average of $39.62 and a 200 day moving average of $33.99. The firm has a market cap of $13.34 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.25 and a beta of 0.82.

Whole Foods Market announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, May 10th that permits the company to repurchase $1.25 billion in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to reacquire up to 10.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, July 11th. Investors of record on Friday, June 30th were issued a $0.18 dividend. This is a positive change from Whole Foods Market’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.72%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, June 28th. Whole Foods Market’s dividend payout ratio is currently 57.14%.

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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