What to Expect When United Natural Foods (UNFI) Reports Fourth-Quarter Earnings Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- United Natural Foods  (UNFI) reports fourth-quarter earnings after the market closes Wednesday, and here's what analysts are expecting from the national distributor of natural and organic foods.

The consensus estimate calls for United Natural Foods to report earnings of 65 cents a share on revenue of $1.73 billion.

In the third quarter, United Natural Foods reported EPS of 73 cents, in line with the expectations of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. The company posted revenue of $1.781 billion, which edged the consensus estimate of $1.778 billion.

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The stock was up 0.87% to $63.73 at 2:41 p.m.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates UNITED NATURAL FOODS INC as a "buy" with a ratings score of B+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate UNITED NATURAL FOODS INC (UNFI) a BUY. This is driven by multiple strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, growth in earnings per share, compelling growth in net income, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company shows low profit margins."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 3.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 13.8%. 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 14.1% 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 $2.18 versus $1.86 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.50 versus $2.18).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Food & Staples Retailing industry average. The net income increased by 15.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $31.62 million to $36.39 million.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $15.18 million or 20.84% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of -15.06%.
  • UNFI's debt-to-equity ratio is very low at 0.25 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 0.94 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: UNFI Ratings Report

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