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Trade-Ideas: United Natural Foods (UNFI) Is Today's New Lifetime High Stock

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified United Natural Foods ( UNFI) as a new lifetime high candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified United Natural Foods as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • UNFI has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $22.7 million.
  • UNFI has traded 403,247 shares today.
  • UNFI is trading at a new lifetime high.

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More details on UNFI:

United Natural Foods, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, engages in the distribution and retail of natural, organic, and specialty foods, as well as non-food products primarily in the United States and Canada. UNFI has a PE ratio of 29.2. Currently there are 5 analysts that rate United Natural Foods a buy, 1 analyst rates it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

The average volume for United Natural Foods has been 231,400 shares per day over the past 30 days. United Natural has a market cap of $2.9 billion and is part of the services sector and wholesale industry. The stock has a beta of 0.28 and a short float of 4.1% with 5.55 days to cover. Shares are up 11.2% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

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TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates United Natural Foods as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, increase in net income, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins.

Highlights from the ratings report include:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 2.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 12.8%. This growth in revenue appears to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, improving the earnings per share.
  • UNITED NATURAL FOODS INC has improved earnings per share by 8.5% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, UNITED NATURAL FOODS INC increased its bottom line by earning $1.86 versus $1.61 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.17 versus $1.86).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and the Food & Staples Retailing industry average. The net income increased by 8.9% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $29.03 million to $31.62 million.
  • UNFI's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.17 and is currently below that of the industry average, implying that there has been very successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.85 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. When compared to other companies in the Food & Staples Retailing industry and the overall market, UNITED NATURAL FOODS INC's return on equity is below that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.

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