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  • Wild day already for Whole Foods Market [View news story]
    Nuts, just nuts.
    Aug 27 10:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Eaton: Double-Digit EPS Growth Is Expected [View article]
    Aug 15 01:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Whole Foods: Use A Rare Market-Provided Coupon And Buy It On Sale [View article]
    OK Magus, very good points, very well made and accepted, with a few quibbles. I agree that 25% EPS growth FOREVER gets a little steep. We are talking grocery stores here, not Google and that ilk. My sense of the current retrenchment is that the market was actually most "disappointed" by the comps as EPS this quarter was a modest beat.
    I personally don't spend much time worrying about quarterly stuff. Maybe I should. To me however, that's a bit like watching Brownian motion (jiggling of microscopic particles molecules under the activity of atoms or molecules of a fluid). I prefer to focus more on top line revenue (and of course NET revenue) growth or stability over ten years or more. This is something that is not a ratio, just a pure number = dollars, euros or what have you. On this score Whole Foods does very well indeed growing steadily from 3.9B in 2004 to over 13 B in TTM. Without revenue, nothing good can happen. This is the basis for my desire to look beyond even 6 months of troubles.
    The recent comps may be as important as some investors suspect, or just a blip in the growth of a very good company. I don't know. Comps busts happen now and then for reasons that can often be fixed.
    It is clear to me that Whole Foods is positioned on the crest of a wave of a changed approach to food quality that has emerged in the USA over many years, as it has in Europe. I doubt if this toothpaste can be put back in the tube.
    At present and in the near future we persistent shareholders will get a small EPS boost from share buybacks. That's a shareholder-friendly thing to do when the stock price, in the opinion of management is too low, and I'm quite sure that is the opinion of WFM management.
    I do spend a lot of time studying WFM stores, and competitors, by walking in the aisles and sometimes talking to employees and customers, in order to get a "gut" feeling about how well each organization is doing. Of course there are many chains of stores, can't visit them all. What I must conclude, however, is that based on my admittedly limited, yet perhaps significant observations, is that WFM sets by far the highest standards in the business in most categories and executes extremely well, especially in consideration of all stakeholders. Hard to quantify, but, there you go for what it may be worth.
    I would not agree that WFM is now just another S&P tag along, that's too extreme - its still a strongly growing company, and therefore a growth stock. Only the individual investor of course can decide how much to pay for something that is not a "cigar butt". However, all this is only my opinion offered with greatest respect. All the best.
    Aug 6 09:43 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Long Overdue Crash In Whole Foods [View article]
    Excellent 20-20 hindsight.
    Aug 6 08:38 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Whole Foods: Use A Rare Market-Provided Coupon And Buy It On Sale [View article]
    For some reason company share prices can go all funny after stock splits - so maybe that's what has happened to WFM. I don't know what is fundamentally different about the world 6 months ago and now, vis a vis WFM. It is a great company that has hit some rough water, but that does not mean doom. Few companies, even the great ones, tread a straight line to the top of the heap, especially when there is so much agitprop out there lobbying against change in "business as usual". Maybe there is gloom and doom out there in TV land because the market has "topped out" and we are due for a "major correction". Or folks are feeling the mighty thunder of Walmart (one word these days) or KR or SWY (a train wreck as it stands). So, am I supposed to rush out and KR? The logic of that is "buy high (NYSE:KR) and sell low (NASDAQ:WFM). Yeah, that works for me.
    This whole thing is of course very political with the left probably more sympathetic WFM, while the flag-waving right is more sympathetic to the old ways. In the end a lot of where one stands simply depends upon whether one thinks that natural and organic, high quality foods will dominate the future, along with the multi-stakeholder culture of businesses like WFM; or will the old "race to the bottom" food stores with those huge racks full of "high fructose corn syrup" win the day. Dunno, although I'm long WFM I can and do respect the other point of view. By the way, if any of you would like to see a litmus test of where all this is going, take a look at the revenues and EPS of United Natural Foods (NASDAQ: on Morningstar. A solid upward trend for the last 10 years, did not even see the 2008 disaster. Think that might mean something? All the best.
    Aug 5 09:30 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Whole Foods: Use A Rare Market-Provided Coupon And Buy It On Sale [View article]
    Nice article. Not written by a clone of the herd, but a thinker. cheers.
    Aug 4 10:35 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is It Time To Buy Shares Of Whole Foods Market? [View article]
    Well, the earnings are out for WFM as of Wednesday. For folks who are WFM shareholders, not to worry. Nearly ALL of retail is not shooting out the lights this summer. Who knows why? Even with the sell off the last two days in the broader market, WFM is little changed. I guess, there is no point trying to make financial arguments anymore about WFM. Bret and others have done a great job (thanks). I would not expect WFM to fall much more, if any more, despite the hopes of those who think WFM is just an upscale Kroger. Frankly, I sometimes wonder why I bother trying to discuss basic investment principles like "patience" and "walk the store = "Boots on the ground". Maybe I still feel sad that so many people got ripped off by fiduciaries like so-called "wealth management advisors" and that ilk, not to mention investment bankers, mortgage firms, insurance companies and yes, politicians - the list goes on and on and on. Even now, after the ACA many people in America still live every day screwed by the system just like Walt in "Breaking Bad".
    In our investment arena, "traders" waste their money chasing hot stocks, never looking at top line revenues, etc. etc. because they are too lazy or stupid or afraid or don't have time or whatever excuse comes to hand. Yet, for those who want to work on it, it is possible to invest for the long term using Warren's principles, slowly, day by day. Thus, we arrive at Whole Foods, a game-changer if there ever were one. Riding a breaking wave of enormous proportions that the "cheaper is better" crowd just can't understand. And, guess what. Read these words folks: Good, safe food, that you can trust, with sources you know, is NOT going to get cheaper. You can take that to the bank. All the best.
    Aug 1 11:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Treasurys take Chicago PMI plunge in stride [View news story]
    We seem to be experiencing odd statistics these days. That negative GDP number for Q1 followed by 4% in Q2, now this. Can't see it on the streets or in the shops in any obvious way. Oh, well. Maybe next month all will be clear. Mr. Market's failure to overlook this bad number may reflect backstory concerns about the international situation? Or the current downbeat mood may be simply, as my sister says with a shrug of her shoulders, "The market goes UP. The market goes DOWN." Deal with it or go camping.
    Jul 31 10:39 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is It Time To Buy Shares Of Whole Foods Market? [View article]
    David, my understanding (you are the expert) is that one of the main objections to GMO is that it facilitates the excessive use of pesticides and herbicides, that then make their way into the food chain. In your opinion, is this part of the issue?
    Jul 30 10:10 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is It Time To Buy Shares Of Whole Foods Market? [View article]
    GMO labeling does not matter much, perhaps, if you litter the store with thousands of yellow stickies touting price savings. Unionized SWY (now private) appears to have joined the race to the bottom. Sad place, anyway. I feel very sorry for the SWY employees who have become playthings of private equity vultures.
    Jul 30 10:06 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is It Time To Buy Shares Of Whole Foods Market? [View article]
    TAS, we may have various opinions about WFM, etc. but please know how very, very happy I am for your mom, and I'm sure everybody at Seeking Alpha wishes her ALL THE BEST. Tremendous! It's good to hear about real people actually being happy, especially at 104. Best regards and wishes for many more birthdays.
    Jul 30 10:00 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Demise Of Whole Foods Is A Fallacy [View article]
    Hey, Gary, I just have to mention - you are SO correct about Scotland. You gotta love 'em all, but man, deep fried mars bars and the lot, and really terrible eating habits in general, despite the economy that grows a lot of good food, including organic. We lived in Aberdeen for 4 years, and the Scots are wonderful, resourceful folks but food was a bit of a regret. It was eating habits with too many snacks and restaurant food (except seafood!) that caused the problem. There seemed to be an addiction to fried foods in particular that the Scots appeared challenged to shake off. The fields grow great stuff, especially root crops in the cool climate - you know, carrots, potatoes, turnips, beets, radishes. And flowers - killer flowers. One highlight, the jams and jellies are also superb. Must be the climate, that chilly air that causes the Scots to reach too often for the fried fish, or fried this or that. Yeah, but the Scotch Whiskey. There you said it! I used to say to my friends: "you could have a car breakdown anywhere in Scotland, and wait for the recovery vehicle while sipping the best scotch in the world at the first pub down the road". cheers
    Jul 29 08:05 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is It Time To Buy Shares Of Whole Foods Market? [View article]
    Guys and gals, don't forget, WFM has been known to buy the competition - literally. Sprouts comes to mind as a very, very logical candidate. Still, WFM is not going away, despite the organic dreams of Kroger and Walmart and the myriad wannabees. This is the best buying opportunity for a best-in-class operation that I have seen in years. Yes, I'm long, and have been buying during this downturn. And, I spend a lot of time in grocery stores - in fact, I'm in a Safeway right now in Tucson. Study study study; work work work. That's what real investing is about. Not just reading Baron's. Although, now that I think about it, Baron's is bullish on Whole Foods as well.
    Oh, one more point. Not every good stock is a cigar butt (very low PE). Even Buffett learned that sometimes you have to pay up for quality. Look back at the PE (historic multiple) for Whole Foods. This is one of the best moments in 10 years, and I just don't see any Borg spaceship out there that is supposed to bury WFM (the Enterprise). See you in Aisle 7. cheers.
    Jul 29 07:47 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Demise Of Whole Foods Is A Fallacy [View article]
    By way of discussing Europe and those thrifty folk, may I offer a comment based on "conventional" stores like Albert Heijn in Holland. Over there, cleanliness and quality standards are higher than US stores in general, although not all are organic or even natural, and there are discount places. However, there is a lot of "natural" food, whose quality is overseen by the EU which is very watchful indeed.

    Along these lines, I was astonished to drop by a McDonalds store in Assen where I was served (amazing!) served ORGANIC milk. Food prices are quite a bit higher generally, but Europeans of all stripes - at least in Holland- appear to have accommodated. In general, one sees less waste versus the US, and purchase of smaller quantities of fresh and packaged food. Street markets are also big big big. Yeah, the kids still like US-branded and some local junk food, or quick snacks from those old-style vending machines with little doors on the front.

    Back to our main topic, US food, in general, is going to get more expensive in any event in my opinion- so might as well buy just what one needs "Whole Foods market style" rather than jumbo sized boxes/containers/bags of food mostly hauled in from far, far away.

    Actually, few people I know buy everything at one store anyway. Whole Foods is a FOOD store, not a department store. There is very little cross marketing of hardware etc. to be found. Thus, if you want a Redbox movie, one should go to Albertsons. And, that's OK!

    Gary J, hope I did the paragraphs right! Best regards to all.
    Jul 29 07:17 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Demise Of Whole Foods Is A Fallacy [View article]
    Nice article with at last, long last some common sense. I continue to be amused by the obsession with price by posters on this blog. If you want to keep beating this dog, try a new stick. Prices are already lower at WFM in any event, on commodities. No less than Wells Fargo Bankers checked this out in of all places, San Francisco. Actually, I'm trying to imagine bankers in blue pin-stripe suits pushing carts down an aisle in WFM. Anyway, may I contribute a remark about the "organic juggernaut" that is coming from conventional stores. Yeah, well, last time I looked at some bagged organic vegetables (green beans) at Albertson's they had dried inside the bag and shriveled up. I guess customers weren't falling all over themselves for the higher priced product, even in the weird world of a conventional store trying to look organic. The message: turnover of organics at conventional stores, even if they stock them, won't be impressive because - wait for it - they are still too expensive in the minds of many customers, and usually from far, far away, not locally sourced. In short, there is no silver bullet that will save failing businesses like Safeway, which is littered with thousands of silly yellow tags and promotional "member cards" yada yada. And how much money is wasted having employees post those thousands and thousands of yellow cards. And how about the value proposition involved in the endless games and promotions that Albertson's runs. Oh, that's all about good food as well, right? Yeah, WFM is disruptive, but it's the best at that game that there is. Deal with it. If you want to save money, and don't care what you eat, there are LOTS of places to go. And, you can play a lottery game too . . .
    Jul 29 10:55 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment