Do you know the risks associated with your stocks?

Stocks come with a good amount of uncertainty. If they didn’t, then we would all have matching portfolios that are happily invested in all of the same stocks. But of course, the potential returns would be close to nil in that case, so differing opinions is a key factor of our financial system.

If you ask two Fools about the same company, chances are you’ll get different opinions. Some will say it’s the best; others will disagree. Each opinion has its merits, so taking the time to see both sides of a story will help you become a better investor.

With that in mind, we’ve gathered myriad investing insights from our CAPS community where over 110,000-plus CAPS members have contributed picks and commentary for over 5,500 companies. Today we’ll look at some of the bull and bear cases for healthy food grocery chain, Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFMI).

Whole Foods


CAPS rating out of 5 stars


Market cap:

$3.09 Billion

30-day return:


Source: Motley Fool CAPS, as of 7/29/08.

Bull case for Whole Foods

Has anyone noticed that the locations of [Whole Foods] stores are almost always close to more affluent areas? Here in Seattle there are 3 and they all border the most affluent neighborhoods and in turn stay busy despite the market conditions. I've found the same to be true in Boston, Chicago and San Fran. ... it'lll take time after the Wild Oats acquisition but their brand power and product will raise them back up.


Chains like Whole Foods and Fresh & Easy (Tesco) are going to gain huge market share over the next ten years. Whole Foods is also well run and was sited in a popular book 'The Future of Management' as an example of how companies should be managed. I give it the green thumb for the five year range. This slump is a buying opportunity.

CAPS members bullish on WFMI are also bullish on

CAPS members bearish on WFMI are also bearish on

Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX)



Citigroup (NYSE:C)

General Electric (NYSE:GE)

General Motors (NYSE:GM)

Bear Case for WFMI

high oil prices means higher prices for food. Whole Foods pricing is already at the "pain" threshold for most customers. Additional competition from other large grocery stores (Safeway, etc.) in organic produce spells slowing sales for [Whole Foods].


This company operates great stores. Nonetheless, I see their business model failing. Trader Joe's and other such discount natural foods retailers will continue to take a big bite out of their profit margins. It may be time for them to rethink their business model. Great store, bad stock.

What’s your take on Whole Foods? Do you side with the bulls or the bears on this one? Zip over to CAPS to voice your opinion -- won't cost you a penny -- or add your thoughts in the comments box below.

Katrina Chan owns shares of Starbucks but of no other company mentioned in this article.

Starbucks is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Whole Foods Market, Starbucks, and Netflix are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. The Fool owns shares of Starbucks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Fool has a disclosure policy.