United Natural Foods Sees Double-Digit Growth in 2004 - TheStreet

United Natural Foods

(UNFI) - Get Report

said Monday that it expects fiscal-year 2004 earnings to fall within analysts' expected range and for revenue to increase 15% over this year.

Excluding items, the company expects to earn $1.42 to $1.46 a share for the year ending July 31, 2004. Analysts are calling for $1.46. Wall Street expects earnings of $1.19 a share for fiscal 2003. United didn't provide 2003 estimates or a date those results will be released.

The company also said it believes capital spending for fiscal 2004 will range from $24 million to $28 million. United said it will take advantage of the historically low interest rates by scheduling several capital projects that were initially planned for fiscal 2005.

"With the acquisition and ongoing integration of Blooming Prairie and Northeast Cooperatives and the recent completion of our Chesterfield, New Hampshire, expansion, we remain well positioned to capitalize on the growing market for natural products," Steven Townsend, chief executive, said in a statement.

United said full-year 2004 earnings will be reduced by 2 cents a share to cover costs associated with meeting the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. For the 2004 fiscal year, the company expects revenue of $1.55 billion to $1.57 billion. Analysts have forecast revenue of $1.57 billion.

Shares of United were recently down 21 cents at $27.91 on the