United Natural Foods (UNFI) Upgraded by Northcoast Research to Buy

United Natural Foods (NASDAQ:UNFI) was upgraded by investment analysts at Northcoast Research from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday, January 8th, Marketbeat.com reports. Northcoast Research also issued estimates for United Natural Foods’ Q2 2018 earnings at $0.56 EPS, 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 brokerages also recently issued reports on UNFI. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “market perform” rating and set a $40.00 price objective (up from $38.00) on shares of United Natural Foods in a research report on Thursday, September 14th. Argus raised shares of United Natural Foods from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, September 25th. Royal Bank of Canada downgraded shares of United Natural Foods from a “sector perform” rating to an “underperform” rating and lowered their price objective for the stock from $36.00 to $34.00 in a research report on Tuesday, October 17th. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating on shares of United Natural Foods in a research report on Monday, October 16th. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares assumed coverage on shares of United Natural Foods in a research report on Monday, October 16th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $43.00 price objective on the stock. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $44.67.

United Natural Foods (NASDAQ UNFI) traded up $0.38 during midday trading on Monday, hitting $47.80. 872,700 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,087,960. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.25, a current ratio of 2.25 and a quick ratio of 0.82. The stock has a market cap of $2,410.00, a P/E ratio of 18.53, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.75 and a beta of 1.46. United Natural Foods has a 1 year low of $29.53 and a 1 year high of $52.69.

United Natural Foods (NASDAQ:UNFI) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, December 7th. The company reported $0.60 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.60. The firm had revenue of $2.46 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.39 billion. United Natural Foods had a net margin of 1.39% and a return on equity of 8.04%. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.58 EPS. equities analysts expect that United Natural Foods will post 2.78 earnings per share for the current year.

United Natural Foods announced that its board has approved a stock buyback program on Friday, October 6th that permits the company to repurchase $200.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, Director James P. Heffernan sold 16,514 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.87, for a total value of $823,553.18. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 7,580 shares in the company, valued at $378,014.60. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Christopher P. Testa sold 4,744 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.47, for a total transaction of $234,685.68. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 14,782 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $731,265.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 103,191 shares of company stock valued at $5,140,875 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 1.40% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Sei Investments Co. lifted its stake in shares of United Natural Foods by 47.2% in the second quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 3,622 shares of the company’s stock valued at $133,000 after purchasing an additional 1,162 shares during the period. Riverhead Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in shares of United Natural Foods by 80.6% in the second quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 4,695 shares of the company’s stock valued at $172,000 after purchasing an additional 2,095 shares during the period. Balasa Dinverno & Foltz LLC acquired a new stake in shares of United Natural Foods in the third quarter valued at about $208,000. Bell Bank acquired a new stake in shares of United Natural Foods in the third quarter valued at about $210,000. Finally, Flinton Capital Management LLC raised its position in United Natural Foods by 76.9% during the second quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 5,152 shares of the company’s stock worth $189,000 after acquiring an additional 2,240 shares during the last quarter.

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About United Natural Foods

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.

Analyst Recommendations for United Natural Foods (NASDAQ:UNFI)

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