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United Natural (UNFI) Queued for Q4 Earnings: Factors to Watch

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United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI - Free Report) is likely to display year-over-year growth in the top line, when it reports fourth-quarter fiscal 2021 numbers on Sep 28. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenues is pegged at $6,874 million, suggesting a rise of 1.8% from the prior-year quarter’s reported figure.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings has remained unchanged over the past 30 days at 81 cents per share, which, however, indicates a decline of 23.6% from the figure reported in the prior-year period. In the last reported quarter, the company delivered an earnings surprise of 1.1%. This distributor of natural, organic, specialty, produce, and conventional grocery and non-food products has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of roughly 14%, on average.

United Natural Foods, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

United Natural Foods, Inc. Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

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

Key Factors to Note

United Natural’s sales are benefiting from e-commerce strength, thanks to the increased e-commerce solutions offered by the company. A number of the company’s Independents channel and a greater proportion of the Chains channel now provide e-commerce solutions to their customers. Recently, it also widened its digital ordering and delivery to include every Cub liquor and Wine & Spirits locations. Apart from this, benefits from buyouts have been a driver for United Natural.  In this regard, the addition of SUPERVALU (acquired in October 2018) has been driving United Natural’s performance, owing to the enhanced scale of the combined entities. That said, any rise in operating costs and promotional expense is a concern.

What the Zacks Model Unveils

Our proven model doesn’t conclusively predict an earnings beat for United Natural this time around. 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 currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 and has an Earnings ESP of 0.00%.

Stocks With Favorable Combinations

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

Hershey (HSY - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +6.88% and carries a Zacks Rank #3, at present. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Kellogg (K - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +2.51% and currently holds a Zacks Rank #3.

Mondelez International (MDLZ - Free Report) has an Earnings ESP of +0.18% and carries a Zacks Rank #3, currently.