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The Ratings Game: Amazon may have launched a bidding war for Whole Foods

Amazon.com Inc. may have a fight on its hands, because its move to buy Whole Foods Market Inc. could potentially launch a bidding war for the natural and organic foods grocery chain.

Karen Short, analyst at Barclays, upgraded Whole Foods WFM, +29.10% to overweight, after being at equal weight for the past nine months.

Typically, shares of companies getting bought out garner the equivalent of equal weight ratings, since a merger limits their potential upside. But Short said she believes another strategic buyout bid could emerge, so she raised her stock price target to $48, which is 14.3% above Amazon’s bid of $42 a share, from $38.

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