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Here's How United Natural (UNFI) Looks Ahead of Q4 Earnings

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United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI - Free Report) is likely to post an increase in the top and the bottom line when it reports fourth-quarter fiscal 2020 results on Sep 28. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal fourth-quarter earnings is unchanged at 65 cents per share in the past 30 days. The estimate suggests an increase of 47.7% from the year-ago quarter’s reported figure. This provider of natural, organic and specialty food, and non-food products has a trailing four-quarter negative earnings surprise of 16.6%, on average. In the last reported quarter, the company reported a negative earnings surprise of 0.7%.

The consensus mark for fiscal fourth-quarter revenues is pegged at $6.60 billion that indicates growth of 3.1% from the figure reported in the year-ago quarter.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2020 earnings is pegged at $2.50 per share, which suggests growth of 20.2% from the figure reported in the year-ago period. For fiscal 2020, the consensus mark for revenues is pegged at $25.43 billion.

United Natural Foods, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

United Natural Foods, Inc. Price and EPS Surprise

United Natural Foods, Inc. price-eps-surprise | United Natural Foods, Inc. Quote

Key Factors to Note

United Natural is witnessing higher consumer demand stemming from coronavirus-led pantry loading of essential items. In its last earnings call, management stated that such trends continued in the fiscal fourth quarter with wholesale net sales for the first four weeks of the quarter up approximately 11%. Moreover, the company is gaining from cross selling and solid performance of private brands. Apart from these, contributions from SUPERVALU (acquired in October 2018) have been yielding.

Incidentally, management expects net sales of $26.4-$26.6 billion and adjusted EBITDA in the band of $655-$670 million for fiscal 2020. Further, earnings per share in fiscal 2020 are expected in the range of $2.30-$2.50.

However, United Natural has been seeing escalated costs to maintain additional safety, increased labor costs to manage higher volumes, and payments and incentives to frontline workers amid the pandemic.

What the Zacks Model Unveils

Our proven model doesn’t conclusively predict an earnings beat for United Natural this earnings season. The combination of a positive Earnings ESP and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), 2 (Buy) or 3 (Hold) increases the odds of an earnings beat. You can uncover the best stocks to buy or sell before they’re reported with our Earnings ESP Filter.

United Natural has a Zacks Rank #3 and an Earnings ESP of 0.00%.

Stocks With Favorable Combination

Here are some companies that you may want to consider as our model shows that these have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat.

Kimberly-Clark (KMB - Free Report) currently has an Earnings ESP of +2.65% and a Zacks Rank #2. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Philip Morris (PM - Free Report) currently has an Earnings ESP of +2.41% and a Zacks Rank of 3.

The J. M. Smucker (SJM - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +1.21% and a Zacks Rank #3.

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