NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Whole Foods Market  (WFM)  were climbing on heavy trading volume early-afternoon Friday as one of the company's largest shareholders has met with potential activist investors to explore making changes to the natural and organic foods grocery chain, Bloomberg reports, citing sources.

The changes could include replacing members of its current management and a potential sale of the company, the sources added.

The shareholder recently met with activist investment funds due to concerns regarding the company's direction, particularly its poor inventory and management, high costs and inability to effectively target millennials, Bloomberg noted, citing sources. 

The stock was briefly halted following the news but has since resumed trading.

Additionally, Whole Foods late Wednesday reported better-than-expected earnings for the 2016 fourth quarter. The company also announced that it will eliminate its co-CEO structure.

More than 7.87 million of the company's shares changed hands so far today vs. its average 30-day volume of 4.96 million shares.

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. 

The team rates Whole Foods as a Hold with a ratings score of C. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its increase in net income, revenue growth and notable return on equity. However, as a counter to these strengths, the team  finds that the stock has had a generally disappointing performance in the past year.

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