NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Whole Foods (WFM) are down 0.29% to $30.52 after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected the supermarket chain's application to be branded as the "World's Healthiest Grocery Store."
The office told Whole Foods that the branding was "merely descriptive," MarketWatch reports.
"A mark is merely descriptive if it describes an ingredient, quality, characteristic, function, feature, purpose or use of an applicant's good and/or services," the letter noted according to MarketWatch.
Whole Foods can respond to the letter within the next six months. Until now, Whole Foods' moniker was "Whole Paycheck," but recently the company has been investing money to offer more affordable food options, including 35% cheaper produce, according to MarketWatch.
Additionally, Whole Foods reported mixed third-quarter results on Wednesday. Earnings met analysts estimated 37 cents per share, while revenue came in at $3.70 billion, falling short of analysts projected $3.73 billion.
The retailer also reported a decline in same-store sales for the fourth consecutive quarter. Sales fell 2.6% and quarter-to-date comps dropped by 2.4%.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author. TheStreet Ratings has this to say about the recommendation:
We rate WHOLE FOODS MARKET INC as a Hold with a ratings score of C. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed - some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including a generally disappointing performance in the stock itself, deteriorating net income and weak operating cash flow.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: WFM