Deutsche Bank AG Reiterates “Hold” Rating for Whole Foods Market, Inc. (WFM)

Deutsche Bank AG restated their hold rating on shares of Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) in a research note published on Thursday, May 11th. Deutsche Bank AG currently has a $38.00 price objective on the stock, up from their previous price objective of $28.00.

Other analysts have also issued reports about the company. Royal Bank of Canada boosted their price objective on Whole Foods Market from $35.00 to $42.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Thursday, April 27th. Telsey Advisory Group boosted their price objective on Whole Foods Market from $28.00 to $31.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research note on Thursday, May 11th. SunTrust Banks, Inc. reiterated a buy rating on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research note on Wednesday, March 29th. Wells Fargo & Company restated a hold rating on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research report on Monday, April 10th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group restated a buy rating and set a $40.00 target price (up from $36.00) on shares of Whole Foods Market in a research report on Tuesday, April 11th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $34.30.

Shares of Whole Foods Market (WFM) opened at 42.68 on Thursday. Whole Foods Market has a 52 week low of $27.67 and a 52 week high of $43.45. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $35.95 and a 200 day moving average of $32.29. The firm has a market cap of $13.64 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.98 and a beta of 0.88.

Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, May 10th. The company reported $0.37 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.37. Whole Foods Market had a return on equity of 13.72% and a net margin of 2.54%. The firm had revenue of $3.74 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.73 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.44 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down 99.9% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that Whole Foods Market will post $1.31 earnings per share for the current year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, July 11th. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 30th will be issued a $0.18 dividend. This represents a $0.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.69%. This is a boost from Whole Foods Market’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, June 28th. Whole Foods Market’s payout ratio is 44.44%.

In related news, insider Angela Lorenzen sold 1,431 shares of Whole Foods Market stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.34, for a total value of $52,002.54. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 1,131 shares in the company, valued at $41,100.54. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Laura A. Derba sold 2,200 shares of Whole Foods Market 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 transaction, 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 worth $543,688 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in Whole Foods Market by 3,657.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 26,099,592 shares of the company’s stock valued at $775,680,000 after buying an additional 25,404,982 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Whole Foods Market during the fourth quarter valued at $165,510,000. Equity Investment Corp Acquisition Inc bought a new stake in Whole Foods Market during the fourth quarter valued at $67,167,000. Parnassus Investments CA increased its position in shares of Whole Foods Market by 29.2% in the first quarter. Parnassus Investments CA now owns 7,825,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $232,559,000 after buying an additional 1,770,000 shares during the period. Finally, Russell Investments Group Ltd. acquired a new position in shares of Whole Foods Market during the fourth quarter worth approximately $48,352,000. 91.41% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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