Wall Street analysts expect Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) to post earnings per share of $0.23 for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Seven analysts have issued estimates for Whole Foods Market’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $0.20 to $0.27. Whole Foods Market reported earnings per share of $0.28 during the same quarter last year, which would indicate a negative year over year growth rate of 17.9%. The business is scheduled to issue its next earnings report on Wednesday, November 1st.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Whole Foods Market will report full year earnings of $1.32 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.30 to $1.38. For the next fiscal year, analysts expect that the company will post earnings of $1.38 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $1.25 to $1.53. Zacks’ EPS calculations are a mean average based on a survey of sell-side analysts that follow Whole Foods Market.

Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.36 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.33 by $0.03. Whole Foods Market had a return on equity of 13.51% and a net margin of 2.85%. The company had revenue of $3.73 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.72 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.37 EPS. Whole Foods Market’s quarterly revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year.

Several brokerages recently issued reports on WFM. Wells Fargo & Company restated a “hold” rating on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research note on Wednesday, July 26th. BidaskClub lowered Whole Foods Market from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “buy” rating and set a $42.00 price target on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research note on Tuesday, July 18th. Vetr upgraded Whole Foods Market from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $46.16 price target on the stock in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Finally, UBS AG upgraded Whole Foods Market from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $42.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, July 10th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $38.06.

Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) traded down 0.07% on Friday, reaching $41.81. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,475,249 shares. The firm has a market capitalization of $13.38 billion, a PE ratio of 34.44 and a beta of 0.82. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $41.52 and its 200-day moving average is $34.78. Whole Foods Market has a 52 week low of $27.67 and a 52 week high of $43.84.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, July 11th. Shareholders of record on Friday, June 30th were issued 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 payout ratio is presently 59.02%.

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

In other news, insider Juan Nunez sold 14,502 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.52, for a total value of $399,095.04. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 5,746 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $158,129.92. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Laura A. Derba sold 2,200 shares of the business’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 completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 3,418 shares in the company, valued at $124,688.64. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 18,466 shares of company stock worth $543,688 over the last three months. 1.30% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Quadrature Capital Ltd acquired a new position in shares of Whole Foods Market during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $289,000. Teachers Advisors LLC increased its position in Whole Foods Market by 21.8% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 598,599 shares of the company’s stock valued at $18,413,000 after buying an additional 106,959 shares in the last quarter. Kentucky Retirement Systems purchased a new position in Whole Foods Market during the fourth quarter valued at about $711,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund purchased a new position in Whole Foods Market during the fourth quarter valued at about $317,000. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. increased its position in 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. 88.23% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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