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Whole Foods’ Stock Hits New High

NEW YORK — Shares of Whole Foods Market reached a 52-week high Monday, closing at just over $100, despite a pullback in the markets overall.

The Austin, Texas-based company joined a handful of U.S. supermarket chains that saw gains in Monday’s trading — Roundy’s Supermarkets, Weis Markets and Spartan Stores also saw gains, as did Whole Foods supplier United Natural Foods Inc.

Edward Aaron, a Denver-based analyst with RBC Capital Markets, issued a report yesterday noting that momentum behind natural and organic products appears strong, and that he expects Whole Foods to continue to report comparable-store sales in the neighborhood of 9%, far outpacing conventional supermarkets.

He said a recent customer survey by RBC shows “strong new customer acquisition and trading up among core customers” at Whole Foods. “While not cheap, WFM's valuation is not out of bounds when compared to its historical range and other high-growth retail peers.”

Read more: Retailers Remain Cautious in Outlook

Whole Foods’ shares are up about 42% year-to-date. The company last had a stock split (2:1) in December 2005.

The major U.S. indices were all down on Monday, which some reports said reflected weak economic reports from Europe stoking fears of global recession. The Dow Jones Index fell 0.15%; the Standard & Poor’s 500 was off 0.22%; and the NASDAQ Composite fell 0.60%.

Among the largest supermarket chains, Kroger was flat, Safeway was down 0.81% and Supervalu was down a penny, or 0.41%.

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