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United Natural Foods Q1 EPS Miss Wall Street View; Shares Down 5%

Shares of United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) slipped over 5 percent on extended session Thursday after the company posted a loss for the first quarter, hurt largely by restructuring and acquisition expenses, weak gross margins and higher operating costs. Earnings for the quarter also missed Wall Street estimates.

United Natural Foods reported first-quarter loss of $19.3 million or $0.38 per share, compared to profit of $30.5 million or $0.60 per share last year.

Restructuring, acquisition, and integration related expenses for the quarter were $68.0 million.

Adjusted earnings for the quarter were $0.59 per share. On average 15, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters estimate earnings of $0.73 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude one-time items.

Revenues for the quarter grew 16.7 percent to $2.87 billion from $2.46 billion last year. Analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $2.70 billion for the quarter.

"We closed on the previously announced purchase of SUPERVALU which will accelerate UNFI's transformation of food distribution throughout North America," said CEO Steven Spinner. "The integration of the two companies is well underway and we continue to be excited about the long-term creation of value for our shareholders we expect to deliver with this combination."

Gross margin dropped to 14.38 percent from 14.94 percent last year. Operating expenses for the quarter were $363.2 million, up from $312.1 million last year.

Looking forward to the full year 2019, the company expects adjusted earnings of $1.69 to $1.89 per share and revenues of $21.5 to $22.0 billion. Analysts currently estimate earnings of $3.33 per share and revenues of $21.72 billion.

UNFI closed Thursday's trading at $19.73, down $0.59 or 2.90%, on the Nasdaq. The stock further slipped $1.03 or 5.22% in the after-hours trade.

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