Whole Foods Is a 'victim Of Its Own Success,' Says UBS

Whole Foods Market Inc. was initiated on Thursday at sell at UBS with a $25 stock price target, with analysts saying the company faces intensifying competition after being a pioneer in the organic food space. "While Whole Foods has done so much to inspire, create, and revolutionize the market for natural and organic, we now see it being the victim of its own success," analysts wrote in a note. "Whole Foods' nine-point plan is a good strategy to confront the challenges it is facing. But, we don't think it will fully address the fact that the distribution of natural/organic continues to widen." Analysts suggest that the company needs to move from a "growth phase to an efficiency phase." Cost savings of $300 million "is a start", but growth must be "process-oriented." Whole Foods shares are down 0.8% in Thursday trading, and down 7.6% for the past year. The S&P 500 index is up 15.8% for the last 12 months.

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