Supervalu (SVU) Cut to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Supervalu (NYSE:SVU) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report issued on Thursday, January 11th.

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 research analysts also recently commented on SVU. ValuEngine raised shares of Supervalu from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. 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. Telsey Advisory Group reaffirmed a market perform rating and issued a $18.00 target price (down from $24.00) on shares of Supervalu in a research note on Thursday, January 11th. Morgan Stanley decreased 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. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed an outperform rating and issued a $35.00 target price on shares of Supervalu in a research note on Thursday, October 19th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $24.69.

Supervalu (SVU) traded down $0.80 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $14.80. 2,369,856 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,630,000. The stock has a market capitalization of $568.45, a P/E ratio of 64.35 and a beta of 1.49. Supervalu has a 52-week low of $14.55 and a 52-week high of $31.29. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.65, a current ratio of 1.24 and a quick ratio of 0.47.

Supervalu (NYSE:SVU) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 10th. The company reported $0.61 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.13. The firm had revenue of $3.94 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4 billion. Supervalu had a net margin of 4.17% and a return on equity of 26.48%. The business’s revenue was up 31.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.35 earnings per share. equities analysts forecast that Supervalu will post 2.34 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio bought a new stake in Supervalu in the third quarter valued at $147,000. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. bought a new stake in Supervalu in the third quarter valued at $252,000. Nine Chapters Capital Management LLC boosted its holdings in Supervalu by 75.7% in the third quarter. Nine Chapters Capital Management LLC now owns 18,100 shares of the company’s stock valued at $394,000 after acquiring an additional 7,800 shares in the last quarter. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Supervalu during the 3rd quarter valued at $486,000. Finally, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Supervalu during the 3rd quarter valued at $537,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 80.90% of the company’s stock.

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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.

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