These 2 Stocks Seize Spotlight: Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (ABUS), United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI)

Arbutus Biopharma Corporation (NASDAQ: ABUS) shares are 8.99% up in the year-to-date (YTD) period and have moved 3.77% or $0.11 higher in the latest trading session. However, stock’s trailing 12-month performance remains nearly +244.32% lower. Comparatively, the stock is -66.41% down YTD and 40.28% over the trailing 3-month period. If we look at the shorter duration, its week performance is -4.72% and -29.53% over the month.

Analyst Recommendations

On July 24, 2020, Robert W. Baird recommended the ABUS stock is a Neutral, while earlier, JMP Securities had Resumed the stock as a Mkt Outperform on July 27, 2020. 5 analysts offering the recommendations for the stock have a consensus rating of 2.30 to suggest that the ABUS stock is a “Moderate Buy. 0 of the 5 analysts rate the stock as a “Sell”, while 0 has rated it as “Underweight”. 4 recommend buying, with 0 rating it as an Overweight.

The stock currently trades at $3.03 and analysts tracking its performance over the next 12 months have a consensus estimate price target of $5.17. The forecasts give the Arbutus Biopharma Corporation stock a price target range of $8.00 on the higher side while at least one analyst think the stock could plunge to a low of $4.00. The two limits represent an upside potential of 62.13% or 24.25%.

Earnings Forecast

Analysts estimate the earnings to decrease -4.20% in the current quarter to -$0.22, down from the $0.01 reported in the same quarter a year ago. Analysts also offered guidance for the next financial quarter, with their average projected EPS at between -$0.26 and -$0.18. Wall Street estimates earnings per share to be at an average of -$0.77 for the next year.

Insider Transactions Summary

According to SEC data, total insider shares purchases at the company stands at 0 over the last 12 months, while SEC filings reveal that there have been 1 insider sales over the same period. Insiders have purchases 0 shares while those sold by company executives and officers stand at 20,000. The last 3 months have seen insiders trade a total of 0 and 20,000 in purchases and sales respectively.

The Chief Business Officer had earlier sold another 20,000 ABUS shares valued at $0.1 million on Jul 23. The shares were sold at $5.01 per share.

United Natural Foods Inc. (NYSE:UNFI), on the other hand, is trading around $17.72 with a market cap of $1.03B and analyst research firms have a negative stance on its shares. Analysts predict that the stock will reach $23.00 and spell out a more modest performance – a 22.96% return. Some analysts are even forecasting $2.57 per share in earnings this year on a short term (1 year) basis.

Let us briefly look at the United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) financials, with a focus on its operating details as indicated in its earnings report for the last quarter.

Company balance sheet and cash flow

UNFI’s operating margin was negative on the trailing 12 months basis, remaining steady at -1.20%, while the operating expenses over the recent quarter were at $784.98 million. This represented a 88.23% of the company’s total revenues which amounted $6.67 billion. With this in place, we can see that the company’s diluted EPS inclined $0.96 on the year-over-year period, growing to $0.64 as given in the last earnings report.

In terms of the balance sheet & cash flow as of (Jul 2020), the total assets figure advanced to $7.7 billion from $7.68 billion over the previous quarter. The cash flow from operating activities totaled $452.28 million, significantly higher than the $77.19 million reported in the year-ago quarter. The company’s free cash flow for the quarter was $334.03 million.

Insider activity

Insiders have transacted a total of 10 times at United Natural Foods Inc. over the last 6 months, with insider purchases undertaken 7 times and accounting for 95,845 shares. Insider sales totaled 11,819 shares over the same period, with these deals completed in 3 transactions. Looking at these numbers, we realize that net purchases over that period are 4.0 shares. Insiders now hold a total of 733.9k shares after the latest sales, with 15.10% net shares purchased.

Major holders

Insiders own 0.70% of the company shares, while shares held by institutions stand at 84.70% with a share float percentage of 50.58M. Investors are also buoyed by the number of investors in a company, with United Natural Foods Inc. having a total of 267 institutions that hold shares in the company. The top two institutional holders are Blackrock Inc. with over 8.27 million shares worth more than $150.63 million. As of Jun 29, 2020, Blackrock Inc. held 15.43% of shares outstanding.

The other major institutional holder is Vanguard Group, Inc. (The), with the investment firm holding over 6.1 million shares as of Jun 29, 2020. The firm’s total holdings are worth over $111.07 million and represent 11.38% of shares outstanding.