United Natural Foods, Inc. (NYSE:UNFI) Given Consensus Recommendation of “Moderate Buy” by Brokerages

United Natural Foods, Inc. (NYSE:UNFIGet Rating) has received an average recommendation of “Moderate Buy” from the eight brokerages that are presently covering the company, Marketbeat reports. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a hold recommendation and four have issued a buy recommendation on the company. The average 1-year target price among analysts that have covered the stock in the last year is $49.40.

A number of research analysts have recently weighed in on UNFI shares. StockNews.com started coverage on shares of United Natural Foods in a research note on Wednesday, October 12th. They set a “buy” rating for the company. Wells Fargo & Company dropped their price objective on shares of United Natural Foods from $45.00 to $40.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, September 28th. MKM Partners dropped their price objective on shares of United Natural Foods from $69.00 to $63.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, September 28th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft dropped their price objective on shares of United Natural Foods from $54.00 to $46.00 in a research note on Wednesday, September 28th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets dropped their price objective on shares of United Natural Foods from $45.00 to $40.00 in a research note on Wednesday, September 28th.

United Natural Foods Trading Down 0.9 %

Shares of United Natural Foods stock opened at $46.23 on Friday. United Natural Foods has a 12-month low of $32.90 and a 12-month high of $57.89. The company has a current ratio of 1.57, a quick ratio of 0.60 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.19. The stock has a market cap of $2.70 billion, a PE ratio of 11.39 and a beta of 1.05. The company has a 50-day moving average of $41.19 and a two-hundred day moving average of $41.97.

United Natural Foods (NYSE:UNFIGet Rating) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, September 27th. The company reported $1.27 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.24 by $0.03. United Natural Foods had a net margin of 0.86% and a return on equity of 15.95%. The company had revenue of $7.27 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $7.33 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.18 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 8.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, research analysts anticipate that United Natural Foods will post 4.99 EPS for the current fiscal year.

United Natural Foods announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Tuesday, September 27th that permits the company to buyback $200.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to reacquire up to 9% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

Insider Buying and Selling

In other news, CEO J Alexander Douglas, Jr. bought 2,932 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 29th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $33.98 per share, for a total transaction of $99,629.36. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 56,763 shares in the company, valued at $1,928,806.74. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. 1.20% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge Funds Weigh In On United Natural Foods

Hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of United Natural Foods by 1.5% during the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 9,197,436 shares of the company’s stock valued at $316,114,000 after acquiring an additional 133,434 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of United Natural Foods by 8.6% during the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 7,135,789 shares of the company’s stock valued at $295,064,000 after acquiring an additional 567,961 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in shares of United Natural Foods by 4.3% during the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 4,218,365 shares of the company’s stock valued at $144,983,000 after acquiring an additional 175,723 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its holdings in shares of United Natural Foods by 1.1% during the 3rd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 2,010,734 shares of the company’s stock valued at $69,109,000 after acquiring an additional 22,094 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mackenzie Financial Corp lifted its holdings in shares of United Natural Foods by 11.6% during the 1st quarter. Mackenzie Financial Corp now owns 1,719,643 shares of the company’s stock valued at $71,107,000 after acquiring an additional 178,233 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.10% of the company’s stock.

About United Natural Foods

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United Natural Foods, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, distributes natural, organic, specialty, produce, and conventional grocery and non-food products in the United States and Canada. It operates in two segments, Wholesale and Retail. The company offers grocery and general merchandise, produce, perishables and frozen foods, nutritional supplements and sports nutrition, bulk and foodservice products, and personal care items.

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Analyst Recommendations for United Natural Foods (NYSE:UNFI)

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