United Natural Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:UNFI) – Equities researchers at Northcoast Research increased their Q2 2018 earnings estimates for shares of United Natural Foods in a research note issued on Monday, according to Zacks Investment Research. Northcoast Research analyst C. Cerankosky now anticipates that the company will earn $0.56 per share for the quarter, up from their prior forecast of $0.55. Northcoast Research has a “Buy” rating on the stock. Northcoast Research also issued estimates for United Natural Foods’ Q3 2018 earnings at $0.83 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $0.79 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $2.78 EPS and FY2019 earnings at $3.11 EPS.
Several other analysts have also issued reports on UNFI. Barclays upgraded shares of United Natural Foods from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $49.00 target price on shares of United Natural Foods in a research report on Monday, January 8th. Susquehanna Bancshares set a $51.00 target price on shares of United Natural Foods and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 11th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “sector perform” rating and issued a $36.00 price target (up from $34.00) on shares of United Natural Foods in a research note on Wednesday, September 20th. Finally, BidaskClub raised shares of United Natural Foods from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, December 2nd. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. United Natural Foods currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $44.00.
United Natural Foods (NASDAQ:UNFI) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, December 7th. The company reported $0.60 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.60. United Natural Foods had a net margin of 1.39% and a return on equity of 8.04%. The company had revenue of $2.46 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.39 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.58 earnings per share.
United Natural Foods declared that its board has approved a stock repurchase program on Friday, October 6th that permits the company to buyback $200.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
In other news, COO Sean Griffin sold 12,351 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.41, for a total value of $610,262.91. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director James P. Heffernan sold 7,580 shares of United Natural Foods stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.01, for a total transaction of $394,235.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 103,191 shares of company stock worth $5,140,875 over the last ninety days. 1.40% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its holdings in United Natural Foods by 0.6% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,289,244 shares of the company’s stock worth $157,415,000 after acquiring an additional 24,028 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its holdings in United Natural Foods by 6.5% during the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 4,269,142 shares of the company’s stock worth $177,554,000 after acquiring an additional 258,676 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its holdings in United Natural Foods by 3.5% during the 3rd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 2,518,218 shares of the company’s stock worth $104,734,000 after acquiring an additional 84,579 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp grew its holdings in United Natural Foods by 4.2% during the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,666,585 shares of the company’s stock worth $61,167,000 after acquiring an additional 66,868 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Earnest Partners LLC grew its holdings in United Natural Foods by 0.7% during the 3rd quarter. Earnest Partners LLC now owns 1,295,620 shares of the company’s stock worth $53,885,000 after acquiring an additional 9,532 shares in the last quarter.
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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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