United Natural Foods (NASDAQ:UNFI)‘s stock had its “sell” rating reissued by equities research analysts at Pivotal Research in a research report issued on Tuesday. They presently have a $18.00 price target on the stock. Pivotal Research’s target price would indicate a potential downside of 11.42% from the stock’s current price.

The analysts wrote, “We reiterate our price target of $18 which remains highly sensitive based on target debt and EBITDA levels. The recent operational missteps reflected in Supervalu’s latest financials need to be better accounted for in guidance. Based on UNFI’s high leverage and earnings volatility, we estimate $25 million of variability in annual EBITDA has a $3/share corresponding impact on the price target. Consensus estimates remain way too high for FY19 – Based on the close of the stock market on Dec. 5, UNFI is now set to report 1Q19 results after the close on Thu., 12/6 followed by an earnings call at 5 pm EST (dial in #: 877.682.3423 and conf. ID: 6861809). Ahead of the print, UNFI has announced the sale of Hornbacher’s retail banner in Fargo ND. The sale includes a long-term supply agreement with Supervalu.””

A number of other equities research analysts have also issued reports on the company. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “sector perform” rating and set a $32.00 price target (down from $36.00) on shares of United Natural Foods in a research note on Friday, September 21st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Morgan Stanley set a $25.00 price target on United Natural Foods and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, October 22nd. Bank of America decreased their price target on United Natural Foods from $33.00 to $30.00 and set an “underperform” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, September 21st. Buckingham Research decreased their price target on United Natural Foods from $26.00 to $24.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, November 30th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research lowered United Natural Foods from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 18th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. United Natural Foods currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $32.98.

NASDAQ:UNFI opened at $20.32 on Tuesday. The company has a market capitalization of $1.11 billion, a PE ratio of 6.53, a P/E/G ratio of 0.84 and a beta of 1.62. United Natural Foods has a 1 year low of $20.00 and a 1 year high of $52.59. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.19, a current ratio of 2.56 and a quick ratio of 0.93.

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

In other United Natural Foods news, Director James P. Heffernan sold 3,820 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.50, for a total transaction of $112,690.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 6,960 shares in the company, valued at approximately $205,320. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Company insiders own 1.50% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Peregrine Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in United Natural Foods by 18.5% during the 3rd quarter. Peregrine Capital Management LLC now owns 151,416 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,535,000 after purchasing an additional 23,592 shares during the period. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL increased its holdings in United Natural Foods by 16.3% during the 3rd quarter. Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL now owns 37,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,135,000 after purchasing an additional 5,300 shares during the period. Aperio Group LLC increased its holdings in United Natural Foods by 17.0% during the 2nd quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 103,500 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,415,000 after purchasing an additional 15,027 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its holdings in United Natural Foods by 1.8% during the 1st quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 222,915 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,572,000 after purchasing an additional 4,009 shares during the period. Finally, First Quadrant L P CA increased its holdings in United Natural Foods by 328.9% during the 3rd quarter. First Quadrant L P CA now owns 17,661 shares of the company’s stock worth $529,000 after purchasing an additional 13,543 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 97.28% of the company’s stock.

About United Natural Foods

United Natural Foods, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, distributes natural, organic, and specialty foods and non-food products in the United States and Canada. The company operates through three divisions: Wholesale, Retail, and Manufacturing and Branded Products. The Wholesale division offers grocery and general merchandise, produce, perishables and frozen foods, nutritional supplements and sports nutrition, bulk and foodservice products, and personal care products.

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Analyst Recommendations for United Natural Foods (NASDAQ:UNFI)

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