Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM)

CAPS Rating: 4 out of 5

Whole Foods brings the world of natural and organic foods into the supermarket format.

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Member Avatar doinitmyway (< 20) Submitted: 10/23/2014 5:30:31 PM : Outperform Start Price: $38.15 WFM Score: -1.76

We have a store in Portland, Maine and I love going there. Good products, nice layout, easy foods to pick up for a lunch and organics are still growing. Haven't looked at financials but noticed the stock is at 1/2 what it was for its year high.

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Member Avatar rayankh (66.69) Submitted: 10/21/2014 11:41:25 AM : Outperform Start Price: $37.79 WFM Score: -1.93

Beaten up a lot - finding this price point attractive.

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Member Avatar Weidmans (< 20) Submitted: 10/15/2014 3:36:07 PM : Outperform Start Price: $36.97 WFM Score: -3.45

People are eating better and WFM sells quality. So much room to grow

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Member Avatar afewgoodstocks14 (20.07) Submitted: 9/30/2014 1:27:27 PM : Outperform Start Price: $38.36 WFM Score: -2.90

Div. (Yield) $0.48 (1.3%)

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Member Avatar sbedford (< 20) Submitted: 9/29/2014 11:57:36 AM : Underperform Start Price: $37.63 WFM Score: -0.76

Whole Foods has an outstanding product; the store near me is always busy. It just seems to need to take a breather after the split. It should come back.

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Member Avatar tes1900 (37.72) Submitted: 9/22/2014 5:37:57 PM : Underperform Start Price: $38.59 WFM Score: +1.27

I don't see them getting much better either, too may grocery stores are also selling organic foods now - and their numbers are growing.

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Member Avatar regotoguy (99.58) Submitted: 9/15/2014 10:24:03 AM : Outperform Start Price: $37.34 WFM Score: +2.29

At this market cap it's become a potential take over.

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Member Avatar nlechman (56.26) Submitted: 9/14/2014 4:25:50 PM : Outperform Start Price: $37.91 WFM Score: +0.84

Innovative company, solid balance sheet, and additional growth on the horizon. This stock has been unfairly beat down since earlier this year.

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Member Avatar RiverPants (23.95) Submitted: 9/11/2014 2:54:41 PM : Outperform Start Price: $38.78 WFM Score: -1.18

My family and I love Whole Foods. Great place to shop, good prices, friendly staff, and their fish/meat are better than anything else in the area.

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Member Avatar pagliacci100 (62.22) Submitted: 9/10/2014 12:52:59 PM : Outperform Start Price: $37.55 WFM Score: +1.59

limit order @ what should prove to be a great entry point for this oversold bargain

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Member Avatar spsu03 (42.25) Submitted: 9/10/2014 10:38:10 AM : Outperform Start Price: $38.32 WFM Score: -0.22

Value play....beaten down to 52 week lows. This is a great company and brand still with room to grow.

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Member Avatar yooperking (57.19) Submitted: 8/27/2014 11:44:54 AM : Outperform Start Price: $39.34 WFM Score: -2.14

Down $20 from its 52 week high, this financially strong, well run company with a great CEO is a great buy right now.

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Member Avatar ericginn (55.92) Submitted: 8/27/2014 10:02:02 AM : Outperform Start Price: $38.85 WFM Score: -1.04

Trying something new: picking companies with high customer satisfaction rankings as recorded by various polls/reports.

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Member Avatar Torquepeak (66.15) Submitted: 8/14/2014 4:03:51 PM : Outperform Start Price: $38.71 WFM Score: -2.56

Organic foods and prepared foods growth are outpacing other parts of the grocery market. WFM price is down b/c of recent troubles with slowing growth. Don't be fooled into thinking Wal-Mart is taking away the organic business. It's a different demographic. WFM offers a differentiated shopping experience, a trusted source of organics and is a leader in prepared foods. Their strengths play neatly into industry trends, a great recipe for growth. Buy it now, while it's on sale.

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Member Avatar TMFNinjaPanda (45.81) Submitted: 8/12/2014 10:23:00 AM : Outperform Start Price: $38.84 WFM Score: -4.21

It's a solid business that makes people happy doing grocery shopping. Wall Street doesn't like the stock (it's been under performing the market for the last 2 years), which is a great news for individual investors to hold it for long term.

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Member Avatar CoachKip (< 20) Submitted: 8/8/2014 11:49:26 AM : Outperform Start Price: $37.78 WFM Score: -2.51

Whole Foods has a few minor issues to work out as the Organic and Natural foods movement moves into discount grocery stores but they are still the top of this niche and will be able to capitalize on this for a long time.

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Member Avatar LongShortIndex (30.50) Submitted: 8/4/2014 9:59:39 PM : Outperform Start Price: $37.74 WFM Score: -1.81

Redthumb CMG, green thumb wfm

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Member Avatar zharriott (64.50) Submitted: 8/4/2014 11:46:10 AM : Outperform Start Price: $36.75 WFM Score: +3.26

I love a little market overreaction. Gives value investors an opportunity worth writing about =].

Whole Foods is a household brand name grocery store in position to absolutely kill it in the organic retail industry. While I understand Mr. Market's worries about this stock, I don't exactly believe those worries are worth obsessing about when considering the long term potential of this company. I also don't believe he should have hammered this stock into the ground to the tune of -33% return YTD as of August.

So what I'll do is dispute the top reason bears run from this stock in an attempt to provide some long term context to their short term woes.

Bears believe intensifying competition from new market entrants (SFM, Trader Joe's, etc) will increase competition and pressure WFM margins, thus diminishing profitability. They argue that the necessary reactions Whole Foods will need to make as a result of competition lowering product pricing will result in WFM not sustaining the amazing growth that they has thus far demonstrated.

Maybe they're right? But what is the reality?

I say welcome to the world of business. Whole Foods has definitely found themselves in a profitable market and has certainly come under fire recently due to the previously mentioned entrants. To be blunt, this is to be expected and is something we all need to just get over. It does not mean that Whole Foods cannot continue to expand and remain profitable while both reducing their costs and protecting margins. WFM's gross margin currently sits at about 36% compared to SFM's 30% and the industry's 25%. I state this only to illustrate that WFM has the ability to reduce their prices while also preserving growth, profits, and overall expansion.

A quote from Co-CEO Walter Robb sums this point perfectly. He said in their Q3 2014 earnings conference script "We are not suggesting a race to the bottom, but rather a thoughtful, strategic, surgical approach to improve our relative value positioning." This meaning, that they aren't overly concerned with sacrificing 1-3% of their current margins because they know they have the ability to remain profitable and competitive. I don't believe such a decline to be a problem when their margins are so much higher than competition and the industry as a whole.

Also, it is worth noting that WFM has an all star management team that is about to completely shake the industry with aggressive growth initiatives and its industry innovation. Whole Foods is currently implementing a 5 point plan that I'll very briefly detail below.

1. They are focusing on aggressive expansion and profitability. They've opened 44 new stores in the last 3 quarters all of which have generated over $500,000/week since. This is compared to a $700,000/week revenue generated by existing stores, and is an amazing turnover for a new store opening. They have 116 stores currently in the pipeline and plan on opening 38 more this FY. Also return on invested capital is about 15% for those who believe they are growing for growth's sake. They currently are on track for 500 stores by 2017 which they estimate will bring in $1 billion in revenues. They also have an end goal of 1200 stores in the U.S.

2. They're refreshing stores over 10 years old. Always good for company image and branding.

3. They're refocusing the company on value which was discussed above.

4. For the first time ever they are running their own advertising campaign. This point is HUGE. To this day, WFM has less than 400 stores and spend less than 1% on ads, yet they have national recognition. An ad campaign is an extremely large and beneficial step forward.

5. They are launching a home delivery (yes, HOME DELIVERY OF GROCERIES) system for their stores, customer pickups, and an online subscription service. These initiates haven't even been introduced to the public yet.

To sum this all up, I'll say this. Don't pay attention to Wall Street and their short term earnings visions. This is a long term growth play, at an extremely reasonable price due to its decline.

I say outperform - over 5 years

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Member Avatar cryptelligence (74.70) Submitted: 8/1/2014 4:25:16 AM : Outperform Start Price: $38.35 WFM Score: -3.68

Timing play.

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Member Avatar mlarms (21.73) Submitted: 7/31/2014 2:08:03 AM : Outperform Start Price: $36.40 WFM Score: +3.19

OK, OK enough playing time to prove them wrong

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