Distributor and retailer of natural, organic and specialty products United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI:NYSE) yesterday announced preliminary Q3/20 financial results and provided a business update pertaining to the actions it is taking to support its associates who are continuing to provide North America with essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company's Chairman and CEO Steven L. Spinner remarked, "I am incredibly proud of the entire UNFI team, especially our front line distribution center, transportation and retail associates, who have been working diligently to fulfill UNFI's role as a critical link in the North American food supply chain during this unprecedented time. The safety of our team has always been and will continue to be at the forefront of everything we do...Customer demand for both our natural and conventional products surged early in our fiscal third quarter and remains elevated, illustrating the value inherent in our strategy to build a distribution network capable of servicing natural, conventional and fresh perimeter products at scale. That demand, along with our ongoing synergy and integration initiatives, contributed to our strong preliminary third quarter results. We remain fully committed to keeping supermarket shelves across North America stocked and serving our customers and communities when they need us most, while prioritizing the safety of our teams who are working with exceptional dedication."
The company provided preliminary Q3/20 financial results and comments regarding its FY/20 fiscal outlook. The firm reported that Revenues in Q3/20 increased by 11.82% to $6.668 billion, compared to $5.963 billion in Q3/19. The firm additionally listed that it expects earnings per diluted share (EPS) in Q3/20 to increase by 43% to $1.60 and Adjusted EPS to increase by 130% to $1.40, compared to $1.12 and $0.61 respectively in Q3/19.
The company indicated that the preliminary Q3/20 results include strong customer demand driven by responses to COVID-19, which has allowed UNFI to leverage fixed costs and capitalize on its synergy and integration efforts undertaken in connection with the Supervalu acquisition. The company highlighted that it was also able to reduce outstanding net debt by approximately $290 million in Q3/20.
UNFI advised that for now it is withdrawing its prior FY/20 guidance because of the strength in the results it has recorded so far in FY/20. The firm noted that it plans to provide updates to its FY/20 guidance when it reports final Q3/20 financial results in early June.
The company pointed out that it is continuing to take an active role in supporting its associates who are working tirelessly to keep UNFI's supply chain secure and stable throughout this period of increased demand and that in mid-March it was one of the first companies to adopt the $2 per hour Temporary State of Emergency Bonus to direct labor associates and drivers on top of their regular wages and overtime hours. The firm said it hired over 2,000 new associates in March and April, and continues recruiting efforts to meet heightened demand.
United Natural Foods is headquartered in Providence, R.I. and states it distributes over 110,000 products to more than 43,000 customers.
United Natural Foods began the day with a market capitalization of around $831.6 million with approximately 53.62 million shares outstanding and a short interest of about 17.9%. UNFI shares opened 10% higher today at $17.06 (+$1.55, +9.99%) over yesterday's $15.51 closing price and climbed to a new 52-week high price this morning of $23.38. The stock has traded today between $17.06 and $23.38 per share and is currently trading at $21.81 (+$6.30, +40.62%).[NLINSERT]
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