Continue Reading Below
Shares of Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM) jumped as much as 11.7% on Monday afternoon, starting with a sharp surge at 2:30 p.m. ET. The stock closed 10% higher at the end of the day.
In a freshly posted 13D filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, activist investor firm Jana Partners disclosed an 8.8% stake in Whole Foods Market. This was the first time Jana reported owning any part of the organic-grocery chain. More than 60% of the reported holdings were acquired in the open market over the past 60 days.
Image source: Whole Foods Market.
In the filing, Jana notes that it has "substantial experience" in the food and retail sectors. Whole Foods' management and board of directors should expect the firm to demand discussions about the company's future, addressing issues such as the company's "chronic underperformance for shareholders," optimizing Whole Foods' real estate strategy, and finding new ways to market the brand.
Jana does indeed have a history of making waves in the retail sector -- and especially the grocery-store market. The firm, managed by billionaire Barry Rosenstein, helped take Safeway private in 2014, for example, and Rosenstein recently held a chair on Walgreens' board of directors.
Whole Foods sure could use some fresh ideas right now. It will be interesting, to say the least, to see Jana shaking things up.
10 stocks we like better than Whole Foods MarketWhen investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*
David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the 10 best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Whole Foods Market wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.
Click here to learn about these picks!
*Stock Advisor returns as of April 3, 2017
John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Anders Bylund has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Whole Foods Market. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.