United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of United Natural Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:UNFI) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Saturday morning.

According to Zacks, “Estimates of United Natural declined after it posted mixed second-quarter fiscal 2017 results, where earnings came in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate but revenues lagged the same. The company also slashed its fiscal 2017 view. In fact, the company’s shares have underperformed than the Zacks categorized industry since past three months. Nevertheless, both earnings and revenues increased year over year. We believe the company’s acquisition strategies, efforts to increase its market share and improve operational efficiency are the reasons for its growth. Gross margin also improved backed by margin improvement initiatives. However, we note that promotional activities and competitive pricing pressure remained the major headwinds in the first half of fiscal 2017. Further, the company has been grappling with ongoing industry challenges, including heightened competition and little to no meaningful improvement in inflation.”

Other equities research analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Guggenheim reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $52.00 price objective (up from $47.00) on shares of United Natural Foods in a research note on Friday, December 9th. BMO Capital Markets set a $45.00 price objective on shares of United Natural Foods and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Friday, December 9th. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of United Natural Foods in a research note on Wednesday, March 8th. Northcoast Research reaffirmed a neutral rating on shares of United Natural Foods in a research note on Monday, November 28th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group Inc initiated coverage on shares of United Natural Foods in a research note on Tuesday, January 31st. They issued a neutral rating and a $49.00 price objective on the stock. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $41.55.

Shares of United Natural Foods (NASDAQ:UNFI) opened at 42.69 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.16 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.88 and a beta of 1.24. United Natural Foods has a 52 week low of $33.16 and a 52 week high of $52.18. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $44.05 and a 200 day moving average of $44.41.

United Natural Foods (NASDAQ:UNFI) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, March 8th. The company reported $0.50 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.50. United Natural Foods had a net margin of 1.44% and a return on equity of 8.48%. The company had revenue of $2.29 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.33 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.49 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 11.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts predict that United Natural Foods will post $2.55 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Tyers Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in United Natural Foods during the fourth quarter worth $100,000. Flinton Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in United Natural Foods during the fourth quarter worth $127,000. Integrated Investment Consultants LLC raised its position in United Natural Foods by 11.6% in the third quarter. Integrated Investment Consultants LLC now owns 3,077 shares of the company’s stock worth $130,000 after buying an additional 321 shares during the period. LS Investment Advisors LLC raised its position in United Natural Foods by 5.6% in the third quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 3,235 shares of the company’s stock worth $130,000 after buying an additional 173 shares during the period. Finally, Advisor Group Inc. raised its position in United Natural Foods by 9.9% in the third quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 3,527 shares of the company’s stock worth $141,000 after buying an additional 318 shares during the period. 99.29% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

United Natural Foods Company Profile

United Natural Foods, Inc is a distributor and retailer of natural, organic and specialty products. The Company’s segments include Wholesale and Other. The Wholesale segment is engaged in the national distribution of natural, organic and specialty foods, produce and related products in the United States and Canada.

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