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Wells Fargo Has 2 Food Retailers In The Cart, But Leaves Whole Foods On The Shelf

Wells Fargo Has 2 Food Retailers In The Cart, But Leaves Whole Foods On The Shelf - Kroger Company The NYSE:KR, Sprouts Farmers Markets NASDAQ:SFM

Wells Fargo Senior Analyst Zachary Fadem shared a look into the results of the firm’s Q2 Food Retail Survey, which highlighted industry-wide challenges.

The results suggested that the near-term headwinds seen in the U.S. grocers industry recently (with 46 percent of consumers reducing their purchases) are likely to linger, driven by “renewed uncertainty around household finances, heightened promo, competition and food deflation.”

Having said this, the expert pointed out that consumers continue to prefer grocers over non-traditional retail channels. Similar is the situation for natural and organic food; 42 percent of respondents said they buy these products. On the other hand, ecommerce penetration remains low, around 2 or 3 percent.

While Wells Fargo analysts remain overall cautious on U.S. grocery retailers, they do see a few silver linings.

According to the report, they favor Outperform-rated The Kroger Co KR due to “its best-in-class characteristics, emerging focus on higher-growth verticals, and attractive valuation,” and Outperform-rated Sprouts Farmers Market Inc SFM, arguing “store’s value-positioning, under-penetrated LT unit opportunity and new initiatives to drive growth present attractive long-term risk/reward.”

Conversely, the experts are cautious on Market Perform-rated Whole Foods Market, Inc. WFM, as its efforts to create value might take several years to blossom.

it's worth mentioning that, last week, Goldman Sachs upgraded Kroger and Sprouts Farmers Market to Buy, while downgrading Whole Foods Market to Sell.

DateFirmActionFromTo
Aug 2016BMO CapitalDowngradesOutperformMarket Perform
Jul 2016Wolfe ResearchDowngradesPeer Perform Underperform
Jul 2016Goldman SachsUpgradesNeutralBuy

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