Short Interest in Sprouts Farmers Market Inc (SFM) Decreases By 14.3%

Sprouts Farmers Market Inc (NASDAQ:SFM) was the target of a large decrease in short interest during the month of February. As of February 28th, there was short interest totalling 13,124,047 shares, a decrease of 14.3% from the February 15th total of 15,312,811 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 2,347,964 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 5.6 days. Approximately 11.0% of the shares of the company are short sold.

Shares of SFM stock opened at $22.39 on Friday. Sprouts Farmers Market has a 12-month low of $20.63 and a 12-month high of $29.67. The company has a market capitalization of $2.78 billion, a P/E ratio of 17.36, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.73 and a beta of 0.50. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97, a current ratio of 1.08 and a quick ratio of 0.22.

Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ:SFM) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 21st. The company reported $0.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.18 by $0.01. Sprouts Farmers Market had a return on equity of 27.02% and a net margin of 3.04%. The company had revenue of $1.27 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.26 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.16 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts forecast that Sprouts Farmers Market will post 1.2 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider Theodore Edward Frumkin II sold 3,106 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, March 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $22.95, for a total transaction of $71,282.70. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 31,826 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $730,406.70. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO James Leroy Nielsen sold 17,267 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, March 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $22.94, for a total value of $396,104.98. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 130,750 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,999,405. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 44,394 shares of company stock valued at $1,020,298. Insiders own 1.80% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SFM. Victory Capital Management Inc. bought a new position in Sprouts Farmers Market in the 4th quarter valued at about $53,331,000. Norges Bank bought a new position in Sprouts Farmers Market in the 4th quarter valued at about $41,565,000. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its position in Sprouts Farmers Market by 2,356.3% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 1,188,148 shares of the company’s stock valued at $51,000 after buying an additional 1,139,777 shares in the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Sprouts Farmers Market by 39.0% in the third quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 3,817,241 shares of the company’s stock valued at $104,631,000 after acquiring an additional 1,070,177 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Half Sky Capital UK Ltd bought a new position in shares of Sprouts Farmers Market in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $24,456,000. 95.57% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

A number of research analysts recently commented on SFM shares. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Sprouts Farmers Market from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, February 1st. Sanford C. Bernstein started coverage on Sprouts Farmers Market in a research note on Friday, November 16th. They set an “underperform” rating and a $23.00 price objective for the company. BidaskClub upgraded Sprouts Farmers Market from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 21st. Buckingham Research initiated coverage on shares of Sprouts Farmers Market in a research report on Thursday, February 7th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $23.75 price target for the company. Finally, Bank of America lowered shares of Sprouts Farmers Market from a “buy” rating to an “underperform” rating and lowered their price target for the stock from $35.00 to $21.00 in a research report on Friday, November 30th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Sprouts Farmers Market has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $26.48.

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Sprouts Farmers Market Company Profile

Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc, a healthy grocery store, provides fresh, natural, and organic food products in the United States. Its stores offer fresh produce, meat and seafood, deli and baked goods, packaged groceries, vitamins and supplements, bulk foods, dairy and dairy alternatives, frozen foods, beer and wine, and natural body care and household items.

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