Why United Natural Foods Hit a Low Not Seen in Nearly a Decade

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After United Natural Foods Inc. (NASDAQ: UNFI) released its fiscal first-quarter financial results after the markets closed on Thursday, shares hit a new multiyear low — one not seen in nearly a decade — in response.

The company posted $0.59 in earnings per share (EPS) and $2.87 billion in revenue, while consensus estimates had called for $0.74 in EPS and $2.69 billion in revenue. In the same period of last year, United Natural Foods said it had EPS of $0.60 on $2.46 billion in revenue.

In terms of the segments, the company reported as follows:

  • Supernatural net sales increased 20.4% to $1.03 billion.
  • Independents net sales increased 4.4% to $667 million.
  • Supermarkets net sales increased 0.6% to $707 million.
  • Other net sales decreased 7.3% to $243 million
  • Supervalu reported net sales of $224 million.

Looking ahead to the full fiscal 2019 year, the company expects to see EPS in the range of $1.69 to $1.89 and net sales between $21.5 billion and $22.0 billion. Consensus estimates call for $3.33 in EPS and $21.72 billion in revenue for the year.

Steven L. Spinner, board chair and chief executive, commented:

We closed on the previously announced purchase of SUPERVALU which will accelerate UNFI’s transformation of food distribution throughout North America. The integration of the two companies is well underway and we continue to be excited about the long-term creation of value for our shareholders we expect to deliver with this combination.

Shares of United Natural Foods were last seen down about 21% at $15.50 on Friday, in a 52-week range of $15.15 to $52.55. The consensus analyst price target is $32.60.