Rumor: Publix to buy Whole Foods?


Tampa Bay Times

Will Publix buy its crunchy, more pricey competitor, Whole Foods Market? That was the rumor swirling on Wall Street Thursday and Friday when Whole Foods' stock rose and option activity surged.

“We see rumors like these 20 to 30 times a day and very few of them end up coming to fruition,'' said Gavin Maguire, a senior analyst at, which provides financial commentary and analysis. posted Thursday "hearing chatter that privately held Publix is interested in WFM.'' By day's end, Whole Foods' stock was up 4.7 percent in heavy trading and option activity was high. Friday, the stock closed at 40.93, up 2.12 percent for the day.

Maguire suspects the speculation is rooted in Whole Foods' recent performance. Whole Foods, while a market leader in a growing segment, got clobbered on a poor earnings report in May, sending stock prices tumbling 20 percent and forcing the company to ratchet down its 2014 forecast. Traders still bullish on Whole Foods started buying stock and options at the low price, drawing analysts' attention. To explain the furor, talk surfaced about a potential buyout. And who was in a good position to buy Whole Foods' 383 stores? None other than Publix, a privately held chain that did $7.8 billion in sales during first quarter of the year, up 4 percent over last year.

"All the clues are there that this would kind of make sense, but you see this kind of activity all over the market, especially in a stock that got crushed,'' Maguire said.

Both Publix and Whole Foods had no comment about the rumor. Jeremy Jones, Florida's spokesman for Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods said it had “no merit.''

Read more Business stories from the Miami Herald

Jacinto Garrido’s mother died in 2010. Garrido filed a complaint against her doctor.


    State seeks harsher penalty against Miami physician

    Department of Health officials intend to appeal a final order by the state Board of Medicine, which in June voted to revoke a Miami physician’s license — then minutes later reversed its ruling and reduced the penalty.

Aeromexico will add a fourth weekly flight between Miami and Merida starting Nov. 8

    Aeromexico adds fourth weekly Miami-Merida flight

    Aeromexico announced this week that it will add a fourth weekly flight between Miami and Merida, the capital of the state of Yucatan, this fall.

  • Memorial Regional Hospital’s heart program accredited

    Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood recently earned certification from The Joint Commission, the nation’s largest healthcare accrediting group, for a cardiac therapy program designed to treat patients with end-stage heart failure who are not eligible for a transplant — making Memorial the first hospital in Broward County to receive the designation.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category