Whole Foods, Wild Oats Shares Post Gains

NEW YORK -- Shares of Whole Foods Market, Austin, Texas, and Wild Oats Markets, Boulder, Colo., rose about 13% and 17%, respectively, yesterday after the two companies announced their planned merger following the market close on Wednesday, but shares of United Natural Foods, their primary supplier, fell more than 7%.

NEW YORK -- Shares of Whole Foods Market, Austin, Texas, and Wild Oats Markets, Boulder, Colo., rose about 13% and 17%, respectively, yesterday after the two companies announced their planned merger following the market close on Wednesday, but shares of United Natural Foods, their primary supplier, fell more than 7%. Whole Foods, one of the worst-performing stocks of 2006, agreed to pay $18.50 per share for Wild Oats, which had been trading in the $14- to $16-per-share range. Wild Oats closed yesterday at $18.42, while Whole Foods shot up to $51.74 despite a weak first-quarter performance.