As an analyst with BB&T Capital Markets, Andrew Wolf specializes in the food and staples retailing industry. At BB&T, Wolf tracks and is considered an expert on three leading nutrition companies: Whole Foods, United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) and The Hain Celestial Group. Wolf has been recognized by Forbes.com/StarMine as the best earnings estimator in the food and staples retailing industry.
In a late 2008 interview that will publish in Nutrition Business Journal’s annual Awards and Executive Review issue later this month, Wolf provided insights into how Whole Foods’, UNFI’s and Hain Celestial’s stocks are performing compared to rest of the U.S. stock market. He also offered his view into Whole Foods’ 2007 acquisition of Wild Oat’s Market, which is still being challenged by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). “I say Whole Foods should not have bought Wild Oats,” Wolf told NBJ in November. “If you read the transcript of the company’s last conference call, you see that the company seems to have come to that conclusion, too.”
“To paraphrase [Whole Foods CEO] John Mackey, he said, if the company could do it all over, it wouldn’t have bought Wild Oats,” Wolf added. “Part of that might have to do with the company’s current battles with the FTC over the acquisition. But to me, the issue is not the FTC. I did not have a buy rating on Wild Oats because I thought that the quality of its assets was really second rate. When you already have a first-rate store base, there’s almost never a reason to trade down by purchasing lower-quality assets.”
NBJ subscribers interested in reading more of NBJ’s coverage of the Whole Foods-Wild Oats merger, should see: