Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Supervalu (NYSE:SVU) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note published 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 research firms have also recently weighed in on SVU. ValuEngine raised shares of Supervalu from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, December 7th. Pivotal Research set a $39.00 price objective on shares of Supervalu and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, October 17th. Morgan Stanley decreased their price objective on shares of Supervalu from $22.50 to $20.50 and set an equal weight rating for the company in a report on Thursday, October 19th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued an outperform rating and set a $35.00 price objective on shares of Supervalu in a report on Thursday, October 19th. Finally, Northcoast Research reissued a neutral rating on shares of Supervalu in a report on Thursday, October 19th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $24.69.

Supervalu (NYSE:SVU) traded down $0.14 on Thursday, hitting $16.33. 2,520,000 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,440,000. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.65, a current ratio of 1.24 and a quick ratio of 0.57. Supervalu has a 1 year low of $14.55 and a 1 year high of $31.29. The stock has a market capitalization of $627.21, a PE ratio of 71.00 and a beta of 2.29.

Supervalu (NYSE:SVU) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, January 10th. The company reported $0.61 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.13. Supervalu had a net margin of 4.17% and a return on equity of 26.48%. The firm had revenue of $3.94 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.35 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 31.2% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts predict that Supervalu will post 2.2 earnings per share for the current year.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. VNBTrust National Association purchased a new stake in Supervalu during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $867,000. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio purchased a new stake in Supervalu during the third quarter valued at approximately $147,000. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Supervalu during the third quarter valued at approximately $486,000. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Supervalu during the third quarter valued at approximately $3,642,000. Finally, OxFORD Asset Management LLP purchased a new stake in Supervalu during the third quarter valued at approximately $5,589,000. 80.63% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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