Credit Suisse has bumped up its rating on Whole Foods Market's (WFM) stock, raising its outlook from neutral to outperform, signaling optimism for the specialty grocer's future.
"My background checks with Whole Foods indicates that the [grocery] prices have come down, they're much more competitive," said Jim Cramer, founder of TheStreet and manager of the Action Alerts PLUS Portfolio.
The Credit Suisse analysts behind the Wednesday report cited the price cutting as a positive sign. Reducing prices, they said, will help Whole Foods tackle its "biggest problem: high prices and a poor overall value perception."
The price-slashing alongside cutting costs -- setting a goal of $300 million in operating expenses over two years -- and investing in technology bode well, the note read, with the analysts adding the factors suggest Whole Foods is "on the offensive."
Prices are becoming more important, according to the report, as middle-income shoppers and Millennials are driving consumer growth and a health-focused lifestyle becomes more commonplace.
Cramer also said Whole Foods is well-positioned when compared with its competitors.
"Don't forget Fresh Market went private; they're not going to be that aggressive," Cramer said. "Fairway, bankrupt. Trader Joe's, I think, is a little more soft underbelly than people realize. Kroger (KR) - Get Kroger Co. (KR) Report , I think, has stalled because they made an acquisition of Roundy's."
Credit Suisse in its report also noted the new expansion of Whole Foods' 365 by Whole Foods Market stores, which sell 365, Whole Foods' store brand, and target more cost-conscious consumers. The first such location opened on May 25 in Los Angeles. The analysts said the new 365 stores would let Whole Foods "reach markets where demographic constraints make its core stores uneconomical."
"I think Whole Foods is back. This is an attractive venture point, exactly as Credit Suisse said," Cramer concluded.