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Whole Foods Market(WFM - Get Report) is another name that's seeing awesome performance in 2012. Shares of the grocery chain have rallied more than 39% since the first trading day of the year, driving shareholders to new all-time highs in the last month. Whole Foods is the biggest natural and organic foods retailer in the world, with more than 311 stores spread across the U.S. and a smattering of Canadian and English locations.
Don't mistake Whole Foods for a grocery store. This firm earns much bigger margins, enjoys much larger organic growth rates (pardon the pun), and has an economic moat that's unheard of in the grocery business. Whole Foods accomplishes that by focusing on a very specific demographic. By targeting affluent health-conscious consumers, it's able to build out better profitability than rivals, and its customers end up stickier than most run-of-the-mill grocery stores.
While WFM was one of the many retail names that suffered from a growth-at-any-cost mentality heading into the Great Recession, the firm is back on solid footing with a productive store base and a strong balance sheet position. Management learned their lessons the last go-around, a factor that should help protect investors from another over-levered investment in the years ahead.
Clearly, this is another name with momentum on its side right now. We're betting on shares this week.
Whole Foods shows up on a list of
5 Volatile Stocks to Buy More Of.