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Stock Market & Financial Investment News

News Breaks
September 25, 2012
07:56 EDTWFM, UNFIUnited Natural Foods price target raised to $70 from $57 at BMO Capital
BMO Capital increased its target on United Natural Foods (UNFI) as the firm expects the company's ROIC to improve in coming years to very similar levels to those of Whole Foods (WFM). The firm maintains an Outperform rating on United Natural.
News For UNFI;WFM From The Last 14 Days
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July 29, 2015
14:12 EDTWFMWhole Foods July weekly 41 straddle priced for 8.1% movement into Q3
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13:17 EDTWFMEarnings Preview: Whole Foods 'value' concept in focus ahead of earnings
Whole Foods Market (WFM) is scheduled to report third quarter earnings after the market close on Wednesday, July 29, with a conference call scheduled for 5:00 pm ET. Whole Foods Market is a retailer of natural and organic foods and grocer, with over 400 stores through the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. EXPECTATIONS: Analysts are expecting earnings per share of 45c on revenue of $3.69B, according to First Call. The consensus range for EPS is 43c-47c on revenue of $3.58B-$3.8B. LAST QUARTER: On May 6, Whole Foods reported second quarter EPS excluding special items of 43c, matching consensus estimates, on revenue of $3.65B, falling just short of analyst expectations of $3.7B. Whole Foods also reported second quarter same store sales growth of 3.6%. The company backed its expectation for fiscal year 2015 same store sales growth in a low to middle single digits percentage range. WHAT'S NOTABLE: During its second quarter earnings conference call, Whole Foods announced that it will launch a lower-cost concept that will offer its "industry-leading quality standards at value prices," geared toward millennial shoppers while appealing to "anyone looking for high-quality fresh food at great prices." The company said at the time it plans to begin opening stores next year and sees a "fairly rapid expansion" from there. On June 11, Whole Foods said the name of its value-focused brand will be "365 by Whole Foods Market," slated to begin opening stores in 2016. On July 1, regarding pricing issues in its New York stores, Whole Foods released a video in which co-CEOs John Mackey and Walter Robb stated, "Straight up, we've made some mistakes. We want to own that, and tell you what we're doing about it... We know [the mistakes are] unintentional because the mistakes are both in the customer's favor, and sometimes not in the customer's favor... We're doing a number of things [to fix this issue]. Most importantly, we're going to increase our training in our New York stores and around the country, because we want to be perfect in this area... Secondly, we're implementing a third-party auditing system so that we can see whether we're making progress in this area or not - and in another 45 days, we're going to begin reporting back to you, the customer, exactly what kind of progress we're making here. The final thing is that we want to give [a] 100% guarantee to our customers. If for any reason you think there's a mistake... if there's a mistake that's not in your favor, we promise to give you that item for free." STREET RESEARCH: On the day after the company's last earnings report, the stock received at least one upgrade and at least one downgrade. RBC Capital upgraded the stock to Outperform from Sector Perform, thinking that its comparable sales can accelerate, driven by easier comparisons and store refreshes. RBC also lowered Whole Foods' price target to $51 from $54. The same day, Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgraded Whole Foods to Neutral and cut its price target on shares to $48 from $65, citing an uncertain same store sales outlook and the potential impact of its new store concept on its core business. Credit Suisse maintained its Neutral rating on the company, but lowered the price target to $40 from $52 due to weaker Q2 comps and the strategy shift to a value-oriented format. Deutsche Bank also lowered its price target for Whole Foods to $40 from $54 for similar reasons. On June 9, Macquarie initiated Whole Foods with a Neutral rating and a $44 price target. On July 13, Cowen said its survey of over 1,000 U.S. consumers regarding their food behaviors indicated that that buyers are in an early stage of demand for more transparent grocery and restaurant offerings. Cowen added in that note that it was concerned about how Whole Foods' rollout of a second concept could potentially impact its core brand. PRICE ACTION: Shares of Whole Foods have slid more than 13.5% over the past three months. In afternoon trading, Whole Foods shares were up 1.6% to $41.60 ahead of the company's earnings report tonight.
July 28, 2015
10:00 EDTUNFIOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
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09:07 EDTUNFIUnited Natural Foods downgraded on customer loss at BMO Capital
As noted earlier, BMO Capital downgraded United Natural Foods to Market Perform from Outperform. The firm downgraded the stock after the company announced that its contract with Albertsons would not be renewed. BMO thinks the company continues to be threatened by competition from KeHE and regional suppliers. Target to $52 from $71.
08:21 EDTUNFIUnited Natural Foods valuation discounts new environment, says Canaccord
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06:13 EDTUNFIUnited Natural Foods downgraded to Market Perform at BMO Capital
BMO Capital downgraded United Natural Foods to Market Perform from Outperform.
July 27, 2015
09:37 EDTUNFIUnited Natural Foods mentioned cautiously at Cleveland Research
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06:55 EDTWFMWhole Foods July weekly volatility elevated into Q3 and outlook
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July 24, 2015
08:32 EDTWFMWhole Foods July weekly volatility elevated into Q3 and outlook
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July 22, 2015
10:01 EDTUNFIOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
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08:17 EDTUNFIUnited Natural Foods downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Wedbush
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08:01 EDTUNFIUnited Natural Foods downgraded to Equal Weight at Morgan Stanley
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06:49 EDTUNFIUnited Natural downgraded to Equal Weight from Overweight at Morgan Stanley
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July 21, 2015
10:01 EDTUNFIOn The Fly: Analyst Downgrade Summary
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08:20 EDTUNFIUnited Natural Foods downgraded following contract loss at Oppenheimer
As noted earlier,, Oppenheimer downgraded United Natural Foods to Perform from Outperform. After United Natural Foods lost a roughly $400M contract with Albertson's, the firm thinks the loss of the contract will cause United Natural's organic sales growth to be "sluggish," and predicts that the shares will be range-bound "for now."
08:19 EDTUNFIUnited Natural Foods price target lowered to $65 from $71 at Canaccord
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08:01 EDTUNFIUnited Natural Foods price target lowered to $72 from $76 at Stephens
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07:00 EDTUNFIUnited Natural Foods downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
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06:27 EDTUNFIUnited Natural Foods downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer
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July 20, 2015
16:17 EDTUNFIUnited Natural Foods announces termination of contract with Albertsons
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