United Natural Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:UNFI) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Friday.

According to Zacks, “United Natural’s recently reported fourth-quarter fiscal 2017 earnings benefited from the sale of its stake holdings in Kicking Horse coffee. This indicates that the company has been making solid progress with its rationalizing efforts. Additionally, acquisition related benefits have been aiding the company’s top line for a while now. During the fourth quarter, the company’s top line depicted a year-on-year gain of 5.7% owing to Gourmet Guru and Haddon House acquisitions. Nevertheless, we note that the company has been grappling with ongoing industry challenges, including competitive pricing and moderate inflation. As a result, shares of United Natural have underperformed the Consumer Staples sector in the past six months. We also note that sales of the company have lagged estimates for the last 11 quarters. Moreover, United Natural’s excessive dependency on its sole customer Whole Foods Market poses as a formidable risk.”

Several other brokerages have also recently commented on UNFI. Jefferies Group LLC set a $44.00 price target on shares of United Natural Foods and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, May 26th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “market perform” rating and issued a $40.00 price target (up previously from $38.00) on shares of United Natural Foods in a research note on Thursday. Stephens initiated coverage on shares of United Natural Foods in a research note on Friday, August 11th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $50.00 price target on the stock. Loop Capital reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $50.00 price target (up previously from $44.00) on shares of United Natural Foods in a research note on Thursday. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG decreased their price target on shares of United Natural Foods from $46.00 to $43.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, June 7th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $42.56.

United Natural Foods (NASDAQ UNFI) traded up 1.99% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $39.96. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,110,553 shares. The firm has a market cap of $2.02 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.05 and a beta of 1.39. United Natural Foods has a one year low of $29.53 and a one year high of $49.74. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $36.08 and a 200 day moving average price of $39.21.

United Natural Foods (NASDAQ:UNFI) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, September 13th. The company reported $0.72 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $2.34 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.36 billion. United Natural Foods had a net margin of 1.40% and a return on equity of 8.21%. United Natural Foods’s quarterly revenue was up 5.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.70 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that United Natural Foods will post $2.69 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Robecosam AG grew its stake in United Natural Foods by 83.4% in the 2nd quarter. Robecosam AG now owns 63,044 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,274,000 after acquiring an additional 28,668 shares in the last quarter. CS Mckee LP grew its stake in United Natural Foods by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. CS Mckee LP now owns 24,700 shares of the company’s stock worth $906,000 after acquiring an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Rowland & Co. Investment Counsel ADV grew its stake in United Natural Foods by 89.1% in the 2nd quarter. Rowland & Co. Investment Counsel ADV now owns 9,700 shares of the company’s stock worth $357,000 after acquiring an additional 4,570 shares in the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company grew its stake in United Natural Foods by 3.6% in the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 159,431 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,852,000 after acquiring an additional 5,475 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Earnest Partners LLC grew its stake in United Natural Foods by 2.1% in the 2nd quarter. Earnest Partners LLC now owns 1,286,088 shares of the company’s stock worth $47,199,000 after acquiring an additional 26,895 shares in the last quarter.

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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Analyst Recommendations for United Natural Foods (NASDAQ:UNFI)

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