BlackRock Fund Advisors recently announced the acquisition of new stake in United Natural Foods Inc. (NYSE:UNFI). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Consumer Defensive company by 1.98% to 7.63 million shares with purchase of 0.15 million shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 13.95% valued currently at $151.39 million. In addition, The Vanguard Group, Inc. raised its holdings by 61826.0 to 6.0 million shares. And Dimensional Fund Advisors LP has lifted its position by 19.19% or 0.68 million shares – to 4.22 million shares.

With over 1.26 million United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) shares trading Friday and a closing price of $17.72 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $22.33 million. The shares have shown a negative weekly performance of -7.47% and its price on 08/28/20 lost nearly -5.99%. Currently, there are 53.72M common shares owned by the public and among those 50.58M shares have been available to trade.

The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $37.00 and a low of $17.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the United Natural Foods Inc. stock is 2.80 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 22.96% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -4.24% over that period. But an upside of 52.11% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $22.00.

Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 91 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 49 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 282,598 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 42 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 62,183 shares.

The top 3 mutual fund holders in United Natural Foods Inc. are iShares Core S&P Small Cap ETF, Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, and Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund. iShares Core S&P Small Cap ETF owns 3.35 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $66.43 million. The company bought an additional 21035.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 6.12% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index bought 489.0 shares to see its total holdings expand to 1.51 million shares valued at over $30.04 million and representing 2.77% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund sold 14883.0 shares to bring its total holdings to over 1.33 million shares at a value of $26.39 million. Vanguard Small Cap Index Fund now owns shares totaling to 2.43% of the shares outstanding.

Shares of United Natural Foods Inc. (NYSE: UNFI) opened at $18.85, unchanged from a prior closing price of $18.85. However, the script later closed the day at $17.72, down -5.99%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of -7.47% and -16.45% over the past three months. UNFI shares are trading 102.28% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance up to 116.36% higher. It has a 12-month low price of $5.00 and touched a high of $23.38 over the same period. Currently, 1.26 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 1.32 million shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by -11.27%, -8.50%, and 39.96% respectively.

Institutional ownership of United Natural Foods Inc. (NYSE: UNFI) shares accounts for 84.70% of the company’s 53.72M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 4.72%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 44.26% and 38.71% respectively.

It has a market capitalization of $1.03B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 1.46. The earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at -$7.36. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 5.38% over the week and 5.01% over the month.

Analysts forecast that United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) will achieve an EPS of $0.72 for the current quarter, $0.31 for the next quarter and $2.3 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $0.55 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $0.94. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $0.44 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to decrease by -341.70%, and -10.51% over the next financial year. EPS should grow at an annualized rate of -6.27% over the next five years, compared to -36.40% over the past 5-year period.

If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 11 brokerage firm advisors rate United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) as a “Moderate Buy” at a consensus score of 2.80. Specifically, 2 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 9 of the 11 advise that investors “hold,” and 0 rated it as a “Sell.”

Looking at the support for the UNFI, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. MKM Partners stated their Buy rating for the stock in a research note on July 30, 2020, with the firm’s price target at $26. BTIG Research coverage for the United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) stock in a research note released on July 17, 2020 offered a Neutral rating with a price target of. Wells Fargo was of a view on May 13, 2020 that the stock is Equal Weight, while Barclays gave the stock Equal Weight rating on March 19, 2020, issuing a price target of. BMO Capital Markets on their part issued Market Perform rating on March 18, 2020.