HEB Stock: Can You Purchase Shares?

Last Updated on 10/18/2021 by GS Staff

Is H-E-B Publicly Traded?

H-E-B is a private grocery store chain headquartered in San Antonio, Texas. The general public cannot purchase H-E-B stock since it is not publicly traded. It does not have a public stock symbol or trade on an exchange such as the NYSE or Nasdaq.

Who Owns H-E-B?

The company is owned by the Butt family. Florence Butt started the business in 1905 in Kerrville, Texas with $60 in startup capital. The first small store (under 800 square feet) was called C.C. Butt Grocery Store. Florence’s son, Howard Edward Butt took over the company in 1919 and attempted expansion without realizing immediate success. In fact, he failed to successfully open a second store six times. It took until 1927 for Howard to open another store in Del Rio, Texas. By 1930, the company was renamed H.E. Butt (H-E-B) Grocery and sales hit approximately $2 million.

Today, the company has revenue of approximately $31 billion with over 340 stores and 100,000 employees. The president and CEO is Charles Butt who has held the position since 1971, taking over for his father, Howard. Forbes estimates the Butt family to be worth $17.8 billion as of December 2020.

Will H-E-B Ever Go Public?

The company does a lot of things right and would certainly draw interest from investors if it were publicly traded. However, it has been well over 100 years that H-E-B has been private. It is doubtful President/CEO Charles Butt will bring the company public while he is still in charge. Butt is in his 80s so we would imagine his retirement will be sooner rather than later. We would suspect that the best opportunity for an H-E-B IPO will be under new leadership when that time comes. Of course, there are no guarantees that the company will ever be public.

Publicly Traded Grocery Stores

Since H-E-B is not an option for investment, here are several publicly traded supermarkets that you may wish to consider researching for potential investment purposes:

  • Kroger (NYSE:KR) – This national grocery chain operates over 2,700 stores. Kroger is the largest supermarket in the United States based on revenue.
  • Albertsons (NYSE:ACI) – Albertsons is the second largest supermarket chain behind Kroger based on store count with approximately 2,250 stores. The company owns several other stores under various banners such as Safeway, Vons, and Jewel-Osco.
  • Weis Markets (NYSE:WMK) – The company has around 200 stores in the Mid-Atlantic region. It has been in business since 1912 and has about 24,000 employees.
  • Sprouts (NASDAQ:SFM) – The Phoenix based Sprouts has over 340 stores across 23 states with the majority in California. It was founded in 2002 by the Boney family who had a history of operating farmer markets.
  • Walmart (NYSE:WMT) – Most readers recognize the name Walmart when it comes to grocery and much more. It is the world’s largest company based on revenue. Its annual revenue as of 1/31/2021 was $559,151,000,000. Globally, it has over 10,500 total retail units. Walmart also owns Sam’s Club.
  • Target (NYSE:TGT) – Target was first launched in 1962 as the discount stores of Dayton Corporation. There are over 1,900 U.S. Target stores and it pulls in over $93 billion in revenue annually. The company owns the popular grocery delivery service known as Shipt.
  • Village Supermarket (NASDAQ:VLGEA) – The company operates 38 stores under ShopRite, Fairway Markets, and Gourmet Garage. Stores are located in New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York.
  • Ingles Markets (NASDAQ:IMKTA) – The company operates approximately 200 locations in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee. In addition to Ingles, the company operates markets under the Sav-Mor name.
  • Spartan Nash (NASDAQ:SPTN) – The company operates 145 of its own stores and distributes to over 2,100 independent retailers. It also is one of the top grocery product distributors to U.S military commissaries.

Image Credit – Tony Webster/flickr
Morton, N. (2015, March 12). H-E-B started as small store 110 years ago. San Antonio Express-News. https://www.expressnews.com/150years/economy-business/article/H-E-B-started-in-small-Kerrville-store-110-years-6119800.php.
Forbes Magazine. (n.d.). Butt family. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/profile/butt/?sh=1a0b7e2364fc.