June 16, 2017 / 2:45 PM / 7 months ago

Short sellers hit as Whole Foods shares soar on deal news

NEW YORK, June 16 (Reuters) - Short sellers who had targeted Whole Foods Market Inc’s shares saw their year-to-date losses more than double after the company’s shares jumped on Friday on news that Amazon.com Inc would buy the grocer, data from financial analytics firm S3 Partners showed.

Whole Foods’ shares rose as much as 28 percent, to $42.35, after Amazon said it would buy the company in a deal valued at about $13.7 billion, including debt.

Short sellers aim to make a profit by selling borrowed shares on the hope of buying them back later at a lower price. Friday’s spike in Whole Foods Markets’ shares cost them $251 million, according to Ihor Dusaniwsky, head of research at S3 Partners.

Friday’s losses brings the short sellers’ year-to-date losses to $404 million, Dusaniwsky said. (Reporting by Saqib Iqbal Ahmed and Jennifer Ablan; Editing by Dan Grebler)

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