Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Supervalu (SVU) to Sell

Supervalu (NYSE:SVU) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “SUPERVALU has lagged the industry in a year due to persistent softness at its retail segment, which has been grappling with stiff competition, price sensitivity, competitive store openings and promotions. Owing to such factors, SUPERVALU’s third-quarter fiscal 2018 marked its 11th straight quarter of lower identical store sales, which along with store closures marred net sales and gross margin at the retail segment. Unfortunately, management expects the retail business to remain pressurized in fiscal 2018. Nonetheless, the company remains focused on strengthening its Wholesale unit, as evident from its recent buyout of AG of Florida and ongoing integration of Unified Grocers. Notably, the latter helped Wholesale unit sales to soar 52% in the quarter, forming roughly 73% of SUPERVALU’s net revenues. This, along with efficient cost management acted as cushion, helping the company deliver top and bottom-line growth in the third quarter.”

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on SVU. ValuEngine raised shares of Supervalu from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 7th. Pivotal Research set a $39.00 target price on shares of Supervalu and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. Morgan Stanley cut their target price on shares of Supervalu from $22.50 to $20.50 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, October 19th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $35.00 target price on shares of Supervalu in a research note on Thursday, October 19th. Finally, Northcoast Research reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Supervalu in a research note on Thursday, October 19th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $24.81.

Supervalu (NYSE SVU) traded down $0.37 on Thursday, hitting $16.58. 1,899,946 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,179,500. Supervalu has a 52 week low of $14.55 and a 52 week high of $32.41. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.76, a quick ratio of 0.57 and a current ratio of 1.21. The firm has a market capitalization of $638.73, a PE ratio of 72.07 and a beta of 2.29.

Supervalu (NYSE:SVU) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, January 10th. The company reported $0.61 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.13. The business had revenue of $3.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4 billion. Supervalu had a net margin of 4.08% and a return on equity of 41.33%. Supervalu’s revenue was up 31.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.35 earnings per share. equities research analysts anticipate that Supervalu will post 2.26 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Amalgamated Bank lifted its stake in shares of Supervalu by 0.7% in the second quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 36,224 shares of the company’s stock valued at $119,000 after buying an additional 246 shares in the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio bought a new position in shares of Supervalu in the third quarter valued at $147,000. Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company LLC bought a new position in shares of Supervalu in the second quarter valued at $216,000. Pacer Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Supervalu by 20.8% in the second quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 67,109 shares of the company’s stock valued at $221,000 after buying an additional 11,574 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. bought a new position in shares of Supervalu in the third quarter valued at $252,000. 80.63% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Supervalu

Supervalu Inc is a wholesale distributor to independent retail customers across the United States. The Company’s segments include Wholesale and Retail. The Company offers a range of advertised brand name and private-label products, including grocery (both perishable and nonperishable), general merchandise and home, health and beauty care, and pharmacy, which are sold through Company-operated and licensed Retail stores to shoppers and through its Wholesale segment to independent retail customers.

Analyst Recommendations for Supervalu (NYSE:SVU)

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