United Natural Foods Inc (UNFI) Short Interest Up 50.9% in October

United Natural Foods Inc (NASDAQ:UNFI) was the target of a large growth in short interest during the month of October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 8,468,884 shares, a growth of 50.9% from the October 15th total of 5,610,405 shares. Approximately 16.9% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 1,354,247 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 6.3 days.

In related news, Director James P. Heffernan sold 3,820 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.50, for a total transaction of $112,690.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 6,960 shares in the company, valued at approximately $205,320. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders own 1.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in UNFI. Zions Bancorporation acquired a new position in United Natural Foods during the 3rd quarter worth about $117,000. Mainstay Capital Management LLC ADV lifted its holdings in United Natural Foods by 4,166.2% during the 2nd quarter. Mainstay Capital Management LLC ADV now owns 6,058 shares of the company’s stock worth $142,000 after buying an additional 5,916 shares during the period. Argus Investors Counsel Inc. acquired a new position in United Natural Foods during the 2nd quarter worth about $207,000. Campbell & CO Investment Adviser LLC acquired a new position in United Natural Foods during the 2nd quarter worth about $209,000. Finally, HPM Partners LLC acquired a new position in United Natural Foods during the 2nd quarter worth about $223,000. 97.29% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of equities research analysts recently weighed in on UNFI shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded United Natural Foods from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, July 17th. BidaskClub upgraded United Natural Foods from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 18th. ValuEngine lowered United Natural Foods from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 24th. Northcoast Research lowered United Natural Foods from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 26th. Finally, Guggenheim lowered United Natural Foods from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, July 27th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $35.67.

Shares of UNFI opened at $24.02 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $1.15 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 7.72, a P/E/G ratio of 0.92 and a beta of 1.60. United Natural Foods has a 12 month low of $21.16 and a 12 month high of $52.69. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.19, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a current ratio of 2.56.

United Natural Foods (NASDAQ:UNFI) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, September 20th. The company reported $0.76 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.85 by ($0.09). The company had revenue of $2.59 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.61 billion. United Natural Foods had a return on equity of 8.93% and a net margin of 1.62%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 10.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.72 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts forecast that United Natural Foods will post 3.44 EPS for the current year.

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About United Natural Foods

United Natural Foods, Inc engages in the distribution of natural, organic, and specialty foods and non-food products. It operates through the Wholesale and Other segment. The Wholesale segment distributes nutritional supplements, personal care items and organic products. The Others segment includes the sale other activities of the firm.

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