Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of United Natural Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:UNFI) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Monday morning.

According to Zacks, “Shares of United Natural have underperformed the industry over the past one year. We note that sales of the company have lagged estimates for the last 10 quarters in a row. The company has been struggling with ongoing industry challenges including increased competition and an aggressive promotional environment. Traditional grocery companies are facing competition from rival companies, which are strengthening their franchises and are offering alternative outlets for food and other staples. As a result of such headwinds the company has slashed its fiscal 2017 sales guidance. Also, United Natural’s excessive dependency on its sole customer Whole Foods Market poses as a formidable risk. Nevertheless the company is observed to be benefiting from its strategic acquisitions and plans to continue acquiring prospective businesses. Ahead of its quarterly results, estimates for the fourth quarter and for fiscal 2017 have remained stable.”

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Citigroup Inc. reissued a buy rating and set a $46.00 price objective (down from $49.00) on shares of United Natural Foods in a report on Sunday, June 11th. Loop Capital initiated coverage on shares of United Natural Foods in a report on Monday, May 15th. They set a buy rating and a $48.00 price objective on the stock. Stephens initiated coverage on shares of United Natural Foods in a report on Friday, August 11th. They set an equal weight rating and a $50.00 price objective on the stock. BidaskClub raised shares of United Natural Foods from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, June 13th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG cut their price objective on shares of United Natural Foods from $46.00 to $43.00 and set a hold rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, June 7th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $41.57.

Shares of United Natural Foods (NASDAQ UNFI) opened at 35.46 on Monday. The company has a market capitalization of $1.79 billion, a PE ratio of 14.24 and a beta of 1.39. United Natural Foods has a 12 month low of $29.53 and a 12 month high of $49.74. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $36.13 and a 200-day moving average price of $39.47.

United Natural Foods (NASDAQ:UNFI) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, June 6th. The company reported $0.77 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.76 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $2.37 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.42 billion. United Natural Foods had a net margin of 1.38% and a return on equity of 8.21%. United Natural Foods’s revenue was up 11.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.76 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that United Natural Foods will post $2.55 EPS for the current year.

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A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Robecosam AG boosted its stake in United Natural Foods by 83.4% in the second quarter. Robecosam AG now owns 63,044 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,274,000 after acquiring an additional 28,668 shares in the last quarter. CS Mckee LP boosted its stake in United Natural Foods by 0.4% in the second quarter. CS Mckee LP now owns 24,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $906,000 after acquiring an additional 100 shares in the last quarter. Rowland & Co. Investment Counsel ADV boosted its stake in United Natural Foods by 89.1% in the second quarter. Rowland & Co. Investment Counsel ADV now owns 9,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $357,000 after acquiring an additional 4,570 shares in the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company boosted its stake in United Natural Foods by 3.6% in the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 159,431 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,852,000 after acquiring an additional 5,475 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Earnest Partners LLC boosted its stake in United Natural Foods by 2.1% in the second quarter. Earnest Partners LLC now owns 1,286,088 shares of the company’s stock valued at $47,199,000 after acquiring an additional 26,895 shares in the last quarter.

About United Natural Foods

United Natural Foods, Inc is a distributor and retailer of natural, organic and specialty products. The Company’s segments include Wholesale and Other. The Wholesale segment is engaged in the national distribution of natural, organic and specialty foods, produce and related products in the United States and Canada.

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