United Leaps on Q1 Sales Growth

United Natural Foods Inc (NYSE:UNFI) found its stock sprouting Wednesday morning as the company revealed first-quarter figures.

The company reported first-quarter FY22 sales growth of 4.7% year-on-year, to $6.99 billion, beating the analyst consensus of $6.80 billion. The gross margin in the first quarter was 14.89% versus 14.51% last year.

The operating margin was 1.5%, and operating income for the quarter jumped 114% to $107 million. Adjusted EBITDA of $189 million rose 18.9% Y/Y.

Adjusted EPS of $0.97 beat the analyst consensus of $0.56.The company held $46 million in cash and equivalents as of October 30, 2021.

United Foods reaffirmed its outlook for FY22. It sees sales of $27.8 billion - $28.3 billion versus the consensus of $28.02 billion. The company expects FY22 adjusted EPS of $3.90 - $4.20 versus the consensus of $4.09.

Operating income in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 was $107 million and included $3 million of restructuring, acquisition and integration related expenses. When excluding this item, operating income in the first quarter of fiscal 2022 was $110 million, or 1.57% of net sales.

Said CEO Sandy Douglas, "As consumers continue to seek at-home food solutions, UNFI remains dedicated to providing our customers with the products and services they need to compete effectively in today’s marketplace.

"I’m pleased with our start to fiscal 2022 and how UNFI is navigating a challenging operating environment while simultaneously investing for the future, including improved distribution capabilities and new facilities, to better serve our customers."

UNFI shares are trading higher by $5.69, or 11.6%, at $54.81 early Wednesday.