Russell Investments Group Ltd. Buys New Stake in Whole Foods Market, Inc. (WFM)

Russell Investments Group Ltd. Buys New Stake in Whole Foods Market, Inc. (WFM)

Russell Investments Group Ltd. bought a new position in Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) during the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund bought 1,559,804 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $48,352,000. Russell Investments Group Ltd. owned about 0.49% of Whole Foods Market at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the company. Conning Inc. increased its position in Whole Foods Market by 0.5% in the third quarter. Conning Inc. now owns 8,050 shares of the company’s stock worth $228,000 after buying an additional 40 shares during the period. Berkeley Capital Partners LLC increased its position in Whole Foods Market by 0.3% in the third quarter. Berkeley Capital Partners LLC now owns 22,048 shares of the company’s stock worth $625,000 after buying an additional 76 shares during the period. Reliance Trust Co. of Delaware increased its position in Whole Foods Market by 0.9% in the second quarter. Reliance Trust Co. of Delaware now owns 9,439 shares of the company’s stock worth $302,000 after buying an additional 87 shares during the period. Cullinan Associates Inc. increased its position in Whole Foods Market by 0.4% in the third quarter. Cullinan Associates Inc. now owns 23,500 shares of the company’s stock worth $666,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. Finally, Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD increased its position in Whole Foods Market by 0.5% in the second quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD now owns 25,878 shares of the company’s stock worth $828,000 after buying an additional 127 shares during the period. 84.70% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) traded down 2.50% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $30.41. The stock had a trading volume of 2,432,496 shares. The stock has a market cap of $9.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 19.62 and a beta of 0.78. Whole Foods Market, Inc. has a 12 month low of $27.67 and a 12 month high of $35.58. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $31.21 and a 200-day moving average price of $30.38.

Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ:WFM) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 2nd. The company reported $0.28 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.24 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $3.50 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $26.30 million. Whole Foods Market had a return on equity of 15.65% and a net margin of 3.22%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.24 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Whole Foods Market, Inc. will post $1.45 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, January 24th. Investors of record on Friday, January 13th were issued a dividend of $0.14 per share. This is a boost from Whole Foods Market’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.14. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, January 11th. This represents a $0.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.80%. Whole Foods Market’s dividend payout ratio is 36.13%.

WFM has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. Credit Suisse Group set a $40.00 price target on Whole Foods Market and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Sunday, November 6th. Vetr downgraded Whole Foods Market from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $30.72 price objective for the company. in a report on Monday, November 7th. Barclays PLC reissued an “equal weight” rating and issued a $30.00 price objective on shares of Whole Foods Market in a report on Friday, November 4th. Zacks Investment Research raised Whole Foods Market from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, November 7th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $31.00 price objective on shares of Whole Foods Market in a report on Friday, November 4th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have issued a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $30.48.

In other Whole Foods Market news, EVP James P. Sud sold 1,700 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.30, for a total value of $53,210.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 185,322 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,800,578.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Glenda J. Flanagan sold 4,592 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.37, for a total value of $144,051.04. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 216,590 shares in the company, valued at $6,794,428.30. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 10,738 shares of company stock worth $331,611 in the last three months. 1.30% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

About Whole Foods Market

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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