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SFM

Sprouts Farmers Market

$22.02

1.14 (5.46%)

, WFM

Whole Foods

$29.53

0.06 (0.20%)

10:30
03/20/17
03/20
10:30
03/20/17
10:30

After Albertsons report, analyst says Sprouts bidding war may ensue

Sprouts Farmers Market (SFM) held preliminary merger talks with Albertsons, Bloomberg reported on Friday night. In a note to investors today, research firm Jefferies estimated that Sprouts, which emphasizes fresh and organic food, could be acquired for $26 per share. NEWS: Under the potential deal being discussed by Sprouts and Albertsons, which is owned by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, Sprouts would be taken private and added to Albertsons' portfolio which also includes SuperValu and Safeway grocery stores, Bloomberg reported. The deal may still not occur, the news service added. ANALYST REACTION: Calling Sprouts "one of the few high quality growth platforms remaining in grocery" and predicting that it will continue to gain market share, Jefferies analyst Christopher Mandeville says he understands why Cerberus is interested in acquiring the company. The analyst noted that Sprouts' stock is up over 20% since investors began speculating that it could be acquired. Based on historical transactions in the grocery space and his belief that Sprouts' sales trends "remain good," Mandeville estimates that Sprouts could be acquired for $26 per share. He kept a $22 price target and a Buy rating on the stock. OPTIONS ACTION: Late in the trading session on March 16, Whole Foods Market quickly spiked higher by about 2%, while Sprouts shares suddenly rose by 13%. The Fly's options specialists noted at the time that with the stock near $20, 925 Apr 17.5 calls traded across the exchanges for $2.80 and total volume was 12 times the daily average at 11K calls and 1.3K puts near 3:50 pm ET. OTHERS TO WATCH: Whole Foods and Natural Grocers (NGVC) are two other publicly traded retailers that specialize in organic and natural food. PRICE ACTION: In morning trading, Sprouts fell 1% to $21.84 while Whole Foods gained 1% and Kroger (KR), another operator of retail food and drug stores, slid nearly 1%.

SFM

Sprouts Farmers Market

$22.02

1.14 (5.46%)

WFM

Whole Foods

$29.53

0.06 (0.20%)

KR

Kroger

$29.35

-0.205 (-0.69%)

NGVC

Natural Grocers

$10.98

-0.05 (-0.45%)

  • 21

    Mar

  • 20

    Jun

SFM Sprouts Farmers Market
$22.02

1.14 (5.46%)

03/20/17
JEFF
03/20/17
NO CHANGE
Target $22
JEFF
Buy
Jefferies sees $26/share buyout price for Sprouts Farmers Market
After Bloomberg reported that Cerberus Capital Management-backed Albertsons held preliminary talks to merge with Sprouts Farmers Market, Jefferies analyst Christopher Mandeville says historical transactions suggest a $26 per share takeout price for Sprouts. The stock in pre-market trading is up 5%, or $1.13, to $23.15. If Sprouts is willing to sell itself, multiple suitors, both financial and strategic, could show interest, leading to a competitive bidding process that could potentially push the valuation higher than $26 per share, Mandeville tells investors in a research note. The company, as one of the last few growth concepts remaining in grocery, should "receive a very healthy valuation," the analyst argues. He has a Buy rating on Sprouts with a $22 price target.
02/01/17
OTRG
02/01/17
UPGRADE
OTRG
Mixed
Sprouts Farmers Markets upgraded to Mixed from Negative at OTR Global
OTR Global changed its view on Sprouts Farmers Markets to Mixed following checks that indicate orders improved slightly in Q4 due to promotions.
02/02/17
FBCO
02/02/17
NO CHANGE
Target $23
FBCO
Outperform
Re-inflation to alleviate Sprouts Farmers Markets pressure, says Credit Suisse
Credit Suisse analyst Edward Kelly says that while short-term caution is certainly warranted given accelerating produce deflation and a tough overall competitive environment, he thinks Sprouts Farmers Markets' Q4 will eventually result in an attractive opportunity. The analyst believes the stock may be the most leveraged to re-inflation at this point, as comps should see relief when pricing firms, margin pressure should moderate as industry promotions begin to ease, and the valuation has upside given it is likely to remain a growth story. He reiterates an Outperform rating and $23 price target on the shares.
02/27/17
RBCM
02/27/17
NO CHANGE
RBCM
Sprouts Farmers Markets fiscal 2017 guidance conservative, says RBC Capital
After Sprouts reported stronger than expected results, RBC Capital analyst William Kirk says that the company's fundamentals continue to be strong. He thinks that the company's guidance is "beatable," partly due to easing comps and lessening cannibalization, along with the contribution of the company's new stores to comp increases. Kirk remains upbeat on the company's fundamentals and keeps an Outperform rating on the shares.
WFM Whole Foods
$29.53

0.06 (0.20%)

02/09/17
FBCO
02/09/17
NO CHANGE
Target $36
FBCO
Outperform
Whole Foods price target lowered to $36 from $40 at Credit Suisse
Credit Suisse analyst Edward Kelly lowered his price target for Whole Foods to $36 from $40 following the company's mixed Q1 earnings update. The analyst reiterates an Outperform rating on the shares as he continues to see value in the brand, believes there is a path for improved performance over time, and likes the stock's risk/reward.
01/20/17
01/20/17
INITIATION

On The Fly: Top five analyst initiations
Catch up on today's top five analyst initiations with this list compiled by The Fly: 1. Amazon.com (AMZN) initiated with a Buy at Aegis. 2. Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) and Facebook (FB) were resumed with an Overweight at Pacific Crest, while Twitter (TWTR) was resumed with a Sector Weight. 3. Costco (COST) coverage was resumed with a Buy at Stifel, while Wal-Mart (WMT) and Target (TGT) were resumed with a Hold. 4. Whole Foods (WFM) was initiated with a Market Perform, while Sprouts Farmers Markets (SFM) was initiated with an Outperform at William Blair. 5. CBS (CBS) was reinstated with an Outperform at Credit Suisse. This list is just a portion of The Fly's full analyst coverage. To see The Fly's full Street Research coverage, click here.
02/02/17
CLVD
02/02/17
NO CHANGE
CLVD
Whole Foods estimate lowered on softenting trends at Cleveland Research
02/09/17
PIVT
02/09/17
NO CHANGE
Target $20
PIVT
Sell
Pivotal calls Whole Foods sales deceleration 'alarming'
Pivotal Research analyst Ajay Jain believes Whole Foods' sales are decelerating at an "alarming rate." The company's guidance reduction last night is the latest in a multi-year string of earnings setbacks, Jain tells investors in a post-earnings research note. He keeps a Sell rating on the shares with a $20 price target.
KR Kroger
$29.35

-0.205 (-0.69%)

03/06/17
HDLY
03/06/17
DOWNGRADE
HDLY
Long-Term Buy
Kroger downgraded to Long-Term Buy from Buy at Hilliard Lyons
03/07/17
NRCS
03/07/17
DOWNGRADE
NRCS
Neutral
Kroger downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Northcoast
03/07/17
03/07/17
DOWNGRADE

Neutral
Kroger downgraded to Neutral on lack of earnings growth at Northcoast
As previously reported, Northcoast downgraded Kroger to Neutral from Buy. Analyst Chuck Cerankosky said he sees little chance of earnings acceleration and or surprise over the next six months and is forecasting flat to slightly down operating earnings for fiscal 2017.
03/07/17
03/07/17
DOWNGRADE

On The Fly: Top five analyst downgrades
Catch up on today's top five analyst downgrades with this list compiled by The Fly: 1. Novartis (NVS) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at Exane BNP Paribas. 2. Kroger (KR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Northcoast with analyst Chuck Cerankosky saying he sees little chance of earnings acceleration and or surprise over the next six months and is forecasting flat to slightly down operating earnings for fiscal 2017. 3. Casey's General Stores (CASY) downgraded to Sector Perform from Outperform at RBC Capital with analyst Irene Nattelciting the company's tepid third quarter report. 4. Diebold (DBD) downgraded to In-Line from Outperform at Imperial Capital with analyst Jeff Kessler saying the company's next four to six quarters are "likely to be characterized by a large and complex integration project for management." The analyst keeps a $30 price target for the shares. 5. Frontier Communications (FTR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill with analyst David Barden saying the topline revenue has declined at a surprising rate, creating risk to the dividend. This list is just a portion of The Fly's full analyst coverage. To see The Fly's full Street Research coverage, click here.
NGVC Natural Grocers
$10.98

-0.05 (-0.45%)

01/31/17
JEFF
01/31/17
DOWNGRADE
Target $14
JEFF
Hold
Natural Grocers downgraded to Hold from Buy at Jefferies
Jefferies analyst Christopher Mandeville downgraded Natural Grocers to Hold citing valuation with the stock up 25% over the past two months. The analyst also sees a lack of visibility into meaningful comp improvement in the near-term. He keeps a $14 price target for the shares.
02/03/17
RHCO
02/03/17
DOWNGRADE
RHCO
Hold
Natural Grocers downgraded to Hold from Buy at SunTrust
02/03/17
RHCO
02/03/17
DOWNGRADE
RHCO
Hold
Natural Grocers downgraded on Q1 miss at SunTrust
As noted earlier, SunTrust downgraded Natural Grocers to Hold from Buy. Analyst David Magee says that the company's Q1 sales were "weak" and predicts that the shares will be "at best" range bound until traffic rebounds. Target to $13 from $17.
10/11/16
SBSH
10/11/16
INITIATION
Target $14
SBSH
Buy
Natural Grocers initiated with a Buy at Citi
Citi analyst Alvin Concepcion started Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage with a Buy rating and $14 price target. The analyst expects the company to generate earnings growth of 13% over the next three years and believes expectations for Natural Grocers are low.

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