Whole Foods Market (WFM) Stock Sliding, Allegedly Overcharged for Food

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Whole Foods Market  (WFM) are falling 0.72% to $40.74 after the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs said that the company overcharged customers for packaged food, according to CNBC.com.

The investigation revealed that 89% of the 80 different packages that were tested were "not in line with the federal standard for the maximum amount that an individual package can deviate from the actual weight," CNBC.com said.

The alleged overcharged products ranged from 80 cents for a pecan panko package to $14.84 for a coconut shrimp package, the DCA stated.

In response to this allegation, Whole Foods stated that they disagree and that they are defending themselves.

"We cooperated fully with the DCA from the beginning until we disagreed with their grossly excessive monetary demands. Despite our requests to the DCA, they have not provided evidence to back up their demands nor have they requested any additional information from us, but instead have taken to the media to coerce us," CNBC.com noted.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates WHOLE FOODS MARKET INC as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate WHOLE FOODS MARKET INC (WFM) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 5.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 9.8%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • WHOLE FOODS MARKET INC has improved earnings per share by 15.8% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, WHOLE FOODS MARKET INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.56 versus $1.47 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.72 versus $1.56).
  • The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly outperformed against the S&P 500 and exceeded that of the Food & Staples Retailing industry average. The net income increased by 12.0% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $142.00 million to $159.00 million.
  • 38.68% is the gross profit margin for WHOLE FOODS MARKET INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 4.35% is above that of the industry average.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $322.00 million or 14.18% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -24.50%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: WFM Ratings Report

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