WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Organic food supplier United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI), Monday reported a small drop in profit for the fourth quarter, despite a growth in revenues, hurt largely by higher expenses. Earnings for the quarter came ahead of Wall Street analysts' estimates, while revenues fell short of expectations.
Providence, Richmond-based United Natural Foods' fourth-quarter profit dropped to $34.68 million or $0.69 per share from $36.10 million or $0.72 per share last year.
Adjusted earnings for the quarter rose to $0.70 per share for the quarter. On average, 15 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters estimated earnings of $0.63 per share for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Revenues for the fourth quarter grew 7.4 percent to $2.21 billion from $2.06 billion last year. Analysts estimated revenues of $2.22 billion for the quarter.
Gross margin rose to 15.60 percent from 15.35 percent, while operating costs, as a percent of sales, increased 59 basis points to 12.78 percent.
Looking forward to the full year 2017, the company expects earnings of $2.53 to $2.63 per share on revenues of $9.43 billion to $9.60 billion. Analysts currently expect earnings of $2.69 per share on revenues of $9.40 billion for 2017.
UNFI closed Monday's trading at $41.82, up $0.21 or 0.50%, on the Nasdaq. The stock further gained $0.48 or $1.15% in the after-hours trade.
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