Expectations that a rival bidder for Whole Foods Market Inc. appear to be increasing, as the natural and organic foods grocer’s stock extends gains above Amazon.com Inc.’s buyout bid price. Whole Food’s stock rallied 1.5% to $43.32 in morning trade Monday, or 3.1% above Amazon’s bid of $42 a share. Benchmark analyst Daniel Kurnos said that while he believes it is likely that “defensive bids” emerge from rival grocers, he expects Amazon to eventually get its target. On Friday, Barclays upgraded Whole Foods and raised its stock price target to $48, or 14% above Amazon’s per-share bid, on the belief that a bidding war could emerge. Whole Foods’ stock has now soared 38% year to date, while Amazon’s has run up 33% and the S&P 500 has gained 9.5%.
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