Earnest Partners LLC grew its position in United Natural Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:UNFI) by 2.1% in the second quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 1,286,088 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 26,895 shares during the quarter. Earnest Partners LLC owned approximately 2.54% of United Natural Foods worth $47,199,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Several other institutional investors and hedge funds have also recently bought and sold shares of the business. Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of United Natural Foods by 0.5% in the first quarter. Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management Inc. now owns 22,788 shares of the company’s stock worth $985,000 after purchasing an additional 107 shares during the period. Amalgamated Bank boosted its position in shares of United Natural Foods by 2.8% in the second quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 7,179 shares of the company’s stock worth $263,000 after purchasing an additional 196 shares during the period. Advantus Capital Management Inc boosted its position in shares of United Natural Foods by 3.2% in the first quarter. Advantus Capital Management Inc now owns 6,476 shares of the company’s stock worth $280,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares during the period. Suntrust Banks Inc. boosted its position in shares of United Natural Foods by 2.5% in the second quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 8,628 shares of the company’s stock worth $316,000 after purchasing an additional 214 shares during the period. Finally, State Treasurer State of Michigan boosted its position in shares of United Natural Foods by 1.5% in the second quarter. State Treasurer State of Michigan now owns 20,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $767,000 after purchasing an additional 300 shares during the period.

A number of equities analysts have weighed in on UNFI shares. TheStreet upgraded shares of United Natural Foods from a “c” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Thursday. Loop Capital reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $44.00 price target (down from $48.00) on shares of United Natural Foods in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Citigroup Inc. reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $46.00 price target (down from $49.00) on shares of United Natural Foods in a research report on Sunday, June 11th. Buckingham Research dropped their price target on shares of United Natural Foods from $53.00 to $51.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, September 14th. Finally, Argus upgraded shares of United Natural Foods from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 price target for the company in a research report on Monday, September 25th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $42.25.

In other United Natural Foods news, SVP Joseph J. Traficanti sold 5,800 shares of United Natural Foods stock in a transaction on Friday, September 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.25, for a total transaction of $250,850.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 10,113 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $437,387.25. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director James P. Heffernan sold 2,660 shares of United Natural Foods stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.28, for a total transaction of $117,784.80. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 29,724 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,316,178.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 50,241 shares of company stock worth $2,205,951. 1.30% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

United Natural Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ UNFI) traded up 0.77% during midday trading on Friday, reaching $40.83. 929,299 shares of the company were exchanged. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.07 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.95 and a beta of 1.43. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $38.22 and its 200-day moving average price is $39.03. United Natural Foods, Inc. has a 52 week low of $29.53 and a 52 week high of $49.74.

United Natural Foods (NASDAQ:UNFI) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, September 13th. The company reported $0.72 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.70 by $0.02. United Natural Foods had a net margin of 1.40% and a return on equity of 8.10%. The company had revenue of $2.34 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.36 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.70 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 5.7% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that United Natural Foods, Inc. will post $2.71 EPS for the current fiscal year.

United Natural Foods declared that its board has approved a stock repurchase program on Friday, October 6th that authorizes the company to buyback $200.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are often an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

TRADEMARK VIOLATION NOTICE: This story was originally published by The Cerbat Gem and is owned by of The Cerbat Gem. If you are viewing this story on another website, it was illegally copied and republished in violation of United States & international trademark & copyright law. The original version of this story can be viewed at https://www.thecerbatgem.com/2017/10/08/united-natural-foods-inc-unfi-holdings-boosted-by-earnest-partners-llc.html.

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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for United Natural Foods (NASDAQ:UNFI)

Receive News & Stock Ratings for United Natural Foods Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for United Natural Foods Inc. and related stocks with our FREE daily email newsletter.