Why United Natural Foods Shares Plunged


Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of natural foods distributor United Natural Foods (NAS: UNFI) were looking a bit rotten to investors today, as they fell as much as 12% after the company reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings.

So what: The results for the quarter were right in line with what was expected. The company's fourth-quarter earnings per share rose 19% to $0.51 and revenue was up 16% to $1.34 billion. Wall Street analysts had been expecting $0.51 in per-share profit on $1.32 billion in sales. The strong earnings growth was attributable to the top-line sales growth as well as "operational efficiencies."

Now what: The good news for United Natural didn't extend to management's expectations for the upcoming year. For fiscal 2013, the company sees EPS between $2.14 and $2.24. The average analyst estimate for the year had been $2.25. The lower-than-expected forecast may have been driven by striking workers in the company's Auburn, Wash., distribution center as well as issues the company has had with its new transportation management system.

Want to keep up to date on United Natural Foods?Add it to your Watchlist.

The article Why United Natural Foods Shares Plunged originally appeared on Fool.com.

Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Fool contributorMatt Koppenhefferhas no financial interest in any of the companies mentioned. You can check out what Matt is keeping an eye on by visiting hisCAPS portfolio, or you can follow Matt on Twitter,@KoppTheFool, or onFacebook. The Fool'sdisclosure policyprefers dividends over a sharp stick in the eye.

Copyright © 1995 - 2012 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Originally published