United Natural Foods (NYSE:UNFI) Shares Gap Down Following Weak Earnings

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United Natural Foods Inc (NYSE:UNFI)’s stock price gapped down prior to trading on Thursday after the company announced weaker than expected quarterly earnings. The stock had previously closed at $5.44, but opened at $7.07. United Natural Foods shares last traded at $7.02, with a volume of 79,203 shares trading hands.

The company reported $0.12 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.23 by ($0.11). United Natural Foods had a positive return on equity of 6.59% and a negative net margin of 1.33%. The company had revenue of $6.02 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.80 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.59 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 109.9% on a year-over-year basis.

UNFI has been the topic of a number of analyst reports. Loop Capital cut their price objective on shares of United Natural Foods to $14.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, August 28th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of United Natural Foods from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 3rd. Pivotal Research dropped their price target on shares of United Natural Foods from $6.00 to $3.00 and set a “sell” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, October 3rd. Buckingham Research dropped their price target on shares of United Natural Foods from $11.00 to $10.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday. Finally, BidaskClub upgraded shares of United Natural Foods from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Friday, September 20th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, one has assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. United Natural Foods has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $11.00.

In related news, Director Peter Roy acquired 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 7th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $7.50 per share, for a total transaction of $75,000.00. Following the purchase, the director now directly owns 49,154 shares in the company, valued at $368,655. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director James L. Muehlbauer acquired 30,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 18th. The shares were bought at an average price of $6.91 per share, with a total value of $207,300.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 30,000 shares in the company, valued at $207,300. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Company insiders own 1.80% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its holdings in shares of United Natural Foods by 3.2% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 7,746,160 shares of the company’s stock valued at $69,484,000 after acquiring an additional 240,001 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in United Natural Foods by 10.1% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 5,548,900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $49,774,000 after purchasing an additional 509,989 shares during the period. Bank of America Corp DE lifted its position in United Natural Foods by 247.3% during the second quarter. Bank of America Corp DE now owns 2,383,841 shares of the company’s stock valued at $21,383,000 after purchasing an additional 1,697,419 shares during the period. Towle & Co. raised its position in United Natural Foods by 27.9% in the second quarter. Towle & Co. now owns 2,000,497 shares of the company’s stock worth $17,944,000 after acquiring an additional 436,960 shares during the period. Finally, Invesco Ltd. raised its position in United Natural Foods by 162.6% in the second quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 1,238,590 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,110,000 after acquiring an additional 766,843 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 92.32% of the company’s stock.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.94, a current ratio of 1.69 and a quick ratio of 0.70. The firm has a market capitalization of $516.66 million, a P/E ratio of 3.39, a P/E/G ratio of 0.80 and a beta of 2.14. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $8.39 and its two-hundred day simple moving average is $9.10.

United Natural Foods Company Profile (NYSE:UNFI)

United Natural Foods, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, distributes natural, organic, and specialty foods and non-food products in the United States and Canada. The company operates through three divisions: Wholesale, Retail, and Manufacturing and Branded Products. The Wholesale division offers grocery and general merchandise, produce, perishables and frozen foods, nutritional supplements and sports nutrition, bulk and foodservice products, and personal care products.

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