United Natural Foods stock falls after CEO announces retirement, Q4 profit

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United Natural Foods Inc. shares fell more than 3% in the extended session Monday after the food wholesaler beat Wall Street expectations for its fiscal fourth quarter but it is losing its CEO. United Natural Foods said that Chief Executive Steven L. Spinner is to retire after July 31, when his employment contract expires, or earlier if a successor is found. Spinner will remain on the board as executive chairman after the retirement, the company said. United Natural Foods’ board has started a CEO search, and has hired an executive-search firm to assist. Both internal and external candidates will be considered, the company said. Shortly after the CEO retirement announcement, United Foods reported better-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter results, pinning it on “strong customer demand as well as the benefits from cross selling.” United Foods said it earned $52 million, or 89 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with 36 cents a share in the year-ago period. Adjusted for one-time items, the company earned $1.06 a share. Sales rose 0.4% to $6.75 billion. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected adjusted profit of 74 cents a share on sales of $6.6 billion for the quarter. It forecast “continued momentum” next fiscal year, saying that “food-at-home consumption remains elevated” due to the pandemic. It guided for fiscal 2021 sales between $27 billion and $27.8 billion, and adjusted EPS between $3.05 and $3.55.
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