Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. Cuts Stake in Whole Foods Market, Inc. (WFM)

Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. decreased its stake in Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) by 4.5% during the second quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 12,213 shares of the company’s stock after selling 574 shares during the period. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc.’s holdings in Whole Foods Market were worth $514,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of WFM. Quadrature Capital Ltd acquired a new position in shares of Whole Foods Market during the fourth quarter worth about $289,000. Teachers Advisors LLC boosted its stake in shares of Whole Foods Market by 21.8% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 598,599 shares of the company’s stock worth $18,413,000 after buying an additional 106,959 shares during the period. Kentucky Retirement Systems purchased a new stake in shares of Whole Foods Market during the fourth quarter worth about $711,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund purchased a new stake in shares of Whole Foods Market during the fourth quarter worth about $317,000. Finally, Macquarie Group Ltd. boosted its stake in shares of Whole Foods Market by 17.1% in the fourth quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. now owns 37,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,138,000 after buying an additional 5,400 shares during the period. 87.89% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ WFM) traded down 0.19% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $41.75. 9,484,487 shares of the company traded hands. The firm has a market capitalization of $13.37 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 34.39 and a beta of 0.82. Whole Foods Market, Inc. has a one year low of $27.67 and a one year high of $43.84. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $41.95 and a 200-day moving average price of $35.32.

Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, July 26th. The company reported $0.36 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.33 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $3.73 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.72 billion. Whole Foods Market had a return on equity of 13.26% and a net margin of 2.44%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.37 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Whole Foods Market, Inc. will post $1.34 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Whole Foods Market declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase plan on Wednesday, May 10th that permits the company to buyback $1.25 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to repurchase up to 10.8% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

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Several equities research analysts have weighed in on the stock. Wolfe Research upgraded shares of Whole Foods Market from an “underperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 2nd. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $40.00 target price on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research note on Sunday, April 23rd. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $40.00 target price (up previously from $35.00) on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research note on Friday, April 14th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Whole Foods Market from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, May 1st. Finally, Vetr lowered shares of Whole Foods Market from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $35.59 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Monday, May 8th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty have assigned a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Whole Foods Market currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $38.06.

In other Whole Foods Market news, insider Laura A. Derba sold 2,200 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated 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 sale, the insider now owns 3,418 shares in the company, valued at $124,688.64. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Juan Nunez sold 14,502 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $27.52, for a total value of $399,095.04. Following the sale, the insider now owns 5,746 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $158,129.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 18,133 shares of company stock valued at $531,354. 1.30% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Whole Foods Market Company Profile

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM)

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