Whole Foods Market Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) was the recipient of a significant growth in short interest in the month of September. As of September 30th, there was short interest totalling 36,395,751 shares, a growth of 8.1% from the September 15th total of 33,674,128 shares. Based on an average daily volume of 4,037,431 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 9.0 days. Currently, 11.5% of the company’s shares are short sold.
A number of brokerages recently commented on WFM. RBC Capital Markets set a $37.00 price objective on shares of Whole Foods Market and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 28th. Credit Suisse Group AG reduced their price objective on shares of Whole Foods Market from $40.00 to $28.07 and set a “focus list” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, August 4th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Whole Foods Market from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 25th. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $37.00 price objective on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research note on Wednesday, June 22nd. Finally, Vetr downgraded shares of Whole Foods Market from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $29.97 price objective for the company. in a research note on Monday, August 15th. Seven equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have given a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and three have given a strong buy rating to the stock. Whole Foods Market has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $30.28.
Shares of Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) opened at 28.72 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $9.16 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.37 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 firm has a 50-day moving average of $28.95 and a 200-day moving average of $30.79.
Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.37 EPS for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.37. The company had revenue of $3.70 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.73 billion. Whole Foods Market had a net margin of 3.03% and a return on equity of 15.55%. Whole Foods Market’s quarterly revenue was up 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.43 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Whole Foods Market will post $1.51 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, October 14th. Stockholders of record on Monday, October 3rd were paid a dividend of $0.135 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, September 29th. This represents a $0.54 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.88%. Whole Foods Market’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 37.76%.
In related news, Director Shahid M. Hassan sold 7,916 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.41, for a total value of $224,893.56. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. 1.09% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of WFM. Simmons Bank purchased a new position in shares of Whole Foods Market during the first quarter worth about $439,000. Geode Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Whole Foods Market by 0.7% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 2,877,225 shares of the company’s stock worth $89,343,000 after buying an additional 20,955 shares during the period. Riverhead Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Whole Foods Market by 104.2% in the first quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 384,701 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,968,000 after buying an additional 196,317 shares during the period. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. raised its position in shares of Whole Foods Market by 2.9% in the first quarter. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. now owns 237,748 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,444,000 after buying an additional 6,800 shares during the period. Finally, UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. raised its position in shares of Whole Foods Market by 47.2% in the first quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 1,460,199 shares of the company’s stock worth $45,428,000 after buying an additional 468,218 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 86.38% of the company’s stock.
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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