A Lot to Chew for Organic Investors (HAIN, UNFI, WFMI, OATS)

August 29, 2007 by Douglas A. McIntyre

This week may be less active in shares traded because of the pre-Labor Day absence of many Wall Street pundits.  But it is a very important week for organic food and health(ier) food companies.  Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFMI) has closed the Wild Oats (NASDAQ:OATS) transaction, and the stocks should trade as one after this week.  Whole Foods has surprisingly seen its shares rise more than 20% off of the post-Mackey SNAFU lows from just a few weeks ago, and that has been during a time that the market hasn’t been all that hot.

Hain Celestial (NASDAQ:HAIN) is also reporting earnings after today’s close.  Analysts are looking for $0.28 EPS and revenues of just under $227 million.  For the coming quarter estimates are $0.28 EPS and $239 million in revenues.  Hain Celestial shares are in the mid-point of its 52-week trading range.

United Natural Foods (NASDAQ:UNFI) is in the spotlight ahead of its earnings this Friday.  United Natural Foods has seen its stock under pressure since the Whole Foods and Wild Oats merger was announced as two key customers were consolidating into one. Analysts expect United Natural Foods to post earnings of $0.34 EPS on revenues of $723.3 million, and next quarter is expected to show $0.34 EPS on revenues of just under $744 million.  This report will also mark the year-end for United Natural.  If it offers fiscal July 2008 estimates, those estimates are $1.46 EPS and $3.141 Billion in revenues.  The best thing about this report is that the forward guidance may clear up much of the uncertainty that has surrounded this stock, and this stock is only about 10% above a key support level that has been in place for about two and a half years.  This one has been overly punished, as shares are down $11.00 from the $38.40 highs over the last year.

Jon C. Ogg
August 29, 2007

Jon Ogg can be reached at jonogg@247wallst.com; he does not own securities in the companies he covers.