United Natural Foods Inc (UNFI) Short Interest Up 50.9% in October

United Natural Foods Inc (NASDAQ:UNFI) saw a significant growth in short interest in the month of October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 8,468,884 shares, a growth of 50.9% from the October 15th total of 5,610,405 shares. Currently, 16.9% of the shares of the stock are short sold. Based on an average trading volume of 1,354,247 shares, the short-interest ratio is currently 6.3 days.

A number of equities analysts have weighed in on UNFI shares. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “sector perform” rating and set a $32.00 price objective (down from $36.00) on shares of United Natural Foods in a research report on Friday, September 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Loop Capital set a $55.00 target price on shares of United Natural Foods and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 27th. Morgan Stanley set a $25.00 target price on shares of United Natural Foods and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, October 22nd. Bank of America reduced their target price on shares of United Natural Foods from $33.00 to $30.00 and set an “underperform” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, September 21st. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of United Natural Foods from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 18th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $35.67.

In other United Natural Foods news, Director James P. Heffernan sold 3,820 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $29.50, for a total transaction of $112,690.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 6,960 shares in the company, valued at $205,320. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 1.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC increased its position in United Natural Foods by 4.0% during the second quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 43,296 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,847,000 after purchasing an additional 1,652 shares during the last quarter. Systematic Financial Management LP increased its position in United Natural Foods by 5.5% during the second quarter. Systematic Financial Management LP now owns 34,310 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,464,000 after purchasing an additional 1,785 shares during the last quarter. Balasa Dinverno & Foltz LLC increased its position in United Natural Foods by 23.1% during the second quarter. Balasa Dinverno & Foltz LLC now owns 10,172 shares of the company’s stock worth $434,000 after purchasing an additional 1,910 shares during the last quarter. James Investment Research Inc. increased its position in United Natural Foods by 4.6% during the second quarter. James Investment Research Inc. now owns 46,210 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,971,000 after purchasing an additional 2,020 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB increased its position in United Natural Foods by 41.1% during the first quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 7,209 shares of the company’s stock worth $310,000 after purchasing an additional 2,100 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 97.29% of the company’s stock.

Shares of NASDAQ UNFI opened at $24.02 on Friday. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.14 billion, a PE ratio of 7.72, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.91 and a beta of 1.60. The company has a quick ratio of 0.93, a current ratio of 2.56 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.19. United Natural Foods has a 52 week low of $21.16 and a 52 week high of $52.69.

United Natural Foods (NASDAQ:UNFI) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, September 20th. The company reported $0.76 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.85 by ($0.09). United Natural Foods had a net margin of 1.62% and a return on equity of 8.93%. The business had revenue of $2.59 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.61 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company earned $0.72 earnings per share. United Natural Foods’s quarterly revenue was up 10.7% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, equities research analysts predict that United Natural Foods will post 3.44 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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About United Natural Foods

United Natural Foods, Inc engages in the distribution of natural, organic, and specialty foods and non-food products. It operates through the Wholesale and Other segment. The Wholesale segment distributes nutritional supplements, personal care items and organic products. The Others segment includes the sale other activities of the firm.

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