Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Supervalu (SVU) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Supervalu (NYSE:SVU) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “SUPERVALU, which is set to be acquired by United Natural, has been witnessing softness in its retail segment, due to stiff competition. During first-quarter fiscal 2019, net sales in this unit dropped due to lost sales from closed stores. Well, the company has been undertaking endeavors to shut retail stores and completed the sale of its Farm Fresh banner during the first quarter. SUPERVALU is also on track to sell Shop ‘n Save and Shop ‘n Save East retail businesses. To top this, the company has been witnessing year-over-year declines in gross margin for a while, mainly due to unfavorable business mix. Nonetheless, the company’s Wholesale business has been quite stellar, which depicted a surge of 49% in the first quarter, driven by contributions from Unified Grocers and AG Florida. Further, the company focuses on enhancing financial strength and recently closed the sale of seven distribution centers.”

Other analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. ValuEngine raised Supervalu from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 20th. Telsey Advisory Group reissued a market perform rating on shares of Supervalu in a research note on Monday, July 16th. Pivotal Research reissued a hold rating and issued a $26.00 price target on shares of Supervalu in a research note on Wednesday, July 25th. Royal Bank of Canada downgraded Supervalu from an outperform rating to a hold rating and set a $33.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Friday, July 27th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group raised Supervalu from an underweight rating to a neutral rating and lifted their price target for the company from $16.00 to $32.50 in a research note on Friday, July 27th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $25.06.

SVU stock opened at $32.02 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.22, a quick ratio of 0.58 and a current ratio of 1.24. The stock has a market cap of $1.24 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.54 and a beta of 1.20. Supervalu has a 1-year low of $13.60 and a 1-year high of $32.40.

Supervalu (NYSE:SVU) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The company reported ($0.17) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.35 by ($0.52). The business had revenue of $4.76 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.76 billion. Supervalu had a return on equity of 12.87% and a net margin of 0.08%. The business’s revenue was up 35.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.63 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Supervalu will post 1.59 earnings per share for the current year.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SVU. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its position in shares of Supervalu by 2.4% in the first quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 708,895 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,796,000 after acquiring an additional 16,438 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Supervalu in the first quarter valued at about $285,000. Prudential Financial Inc. increased its position in shares of Supervalu by 32.2% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 82,295 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,253,000 after acquiring an additional 20,050 shares during the last quarter. Swiss National Bank increased its position in shares of Supervalu by 7.2% in the first quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 66,771 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,017,000 after acquiring an additional 4,500 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its position in shares of Supervalu by 16.0% in the first quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 521,759 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,947,000 after acquiring an additional 72,005 shares during the last quarter. 92.19% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Supervalu

SUPERVALU INC., together with its subsidiaries, operates as a grocery wholesaler and retailer in the United States and internationally. It operates through two segments, Wholesale and Retail. The Wholesale segment engages in the wholesale distribution of various food and non-food products to independent retail customers, such as single and multiple grocery store operators, regional chains, and the military.

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