Categories Earnings, Retail

United Natural Foods stock drops on weak Q4 results

United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) reported a 15.6% dip in earnings for the fourth quarter due to a shift in customer mix and an increase in inbound freight costs. The top and bottom line missed analysts’ expectations. Following this, the stock plunged about 10% in the after-hours session.

Earnings for the quarter dropped $15.6% to $32.8 million or $0.64 per share. The results were impacted by higher costs and expenses as well as an increase in restructuring and asset impairment expenses. Adjusted earnings increased 5.6% to $0.76 per share.

Net sales grew 10.7% to $2.6 billion. Sales from Supernatural customer channel jumped 27.5% year-over-year and that from Independents increased 5.7%. Supermarkets sales rose by 1.1%, while Other customer channel declined 1.5% due to the divestiture of Earth Origins Market business.

Looking ahead into the fiscal year 2019, the company expects EPS in the range of $3.35 to $3.45, adjusted EPS in the range of $3.48 to $3.58 and net sales of $11.1 billion to $11.3 billion. Free cash flow is predicted to be in the range of $40 million to $70 million.

On July 25, United Natural Foods agreed to buy Supervalu (SVU) for $32.50 per share in cash or about $2.9 billion, including the assumption of outstanding debt and liabilities. The transaction is expected to achieve run-rate cost synergies, net of reverse synergies, of more than $175 million in the third year and more than $185 million in the fourth year.

This deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of calendar 2018. One-time costs including deal and integration costs for the first year are expected to be about $95 million. Total one-time costs for the second year and beyond are expected to be $110 million with the majority expected to be incurred in the second year.

Shares of United Natural Foods ended Thursday’s regular session up 1.65% at $33.85. The stock had fallen over 31% so far this year and more than 19% in the past year.

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