Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:SFM) saw a large increase in short interest during the month of September. As of September 29th, there was short interest totalling 15,753,972 shares, an increase of 13.5% from the September 15th total of 13,876,869 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 2,180,730 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 7.2 days. Currently, 12.4% of the company’s stock are short sold.

A number of brokerages have recently commented on SFM. TheStreet lowered Sprouts Farmers Market from a “b” rating to a “c+” rating in a report on Friday, June 16th. Wells Fargo & Company reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of Sprouts Farmers Market in a report on Tuesday, June 27th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Sprouts Farmers Market from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 12th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and set a $25.00 price objective (down previously from $26.00) on shares of Sprouts Farmers Market in a report on Friday, June 23rd. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “hold” rating and set a $24.00 price objective (up previously from $22.00) on shares of Sprouts Farmers Market in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. Sprouts Farmers Market has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $25.00.

Shares of Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ:SFM) opened at 18.27 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $2.48 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.60 and a beta of 0.54. Sprouts Farmers Market has a 12 month low of $17.38 and a 12 month high of $25.98. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $19.48 and a 200-day moving average price of $22.42.

Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ:SFM) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.29 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.25 by $0.04. Sprouts Farmers Market had a return on equity of 18.79% and a net margin of 2.96%. The company had revenue of $1.18 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.17 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.25 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.8% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Sprouts Farmers Market will post $0.93 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CFO Bradley Lukow acquired 7,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 29th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $19.80 per share, with a total value of $138,600.00. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Daniel Bruni acquired 15,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 15th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $19.00 per share, for a total transaction of $285,000.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Corporate insiders own 2.60% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of SFM. Russell Investments Group Ltd. grew its position in shares of Sprouts Farmers Market by 14.7% in the first quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 24,050 shares of the company’s stock valued at $556,000 after purchasing an additional 3,091 shares during the last quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. grew its position in shares of Sprouts Farmers Market by 48.1% in the first quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 108,829 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,516,000 after purchasing an additional 35,328 shares during the last quarter. Karp Capital Management Corp acquired a new position in shares of Sprouts Farmers Market in the first quarter valued at approximately $564,000. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC grew its position in shares of Sprouts Farmers Market by 75.5% in the first quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 138,115 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,193,000 after purchasing an additional 59,418 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Envestnet Asset Management Inc. grew its position in shares of Sprouts Farmers Market by 28.3% in the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 12,117 shares of the company’s stock valued at $280,000 after purchasing an additional 2,674 shares during the last quarter. 88.03% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Sprouts Farmers Market

Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc is a food retailer. The Company operates as a grocery store that offers fresh, natural and organic food that includes fresh produce, bulk foods, vitamins and supplements, packaged groceries, meat and seafood, deli, baked goods, dairy products, frozen foods, body care and natural household items catering to consumers’ interest in health and wellness.

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