Natural Grocers share price soars after profit call

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Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage (NGVC) yesterday announced its highest annual net sales in company history, at $ 1 billion, when it released its fourth quarter results, along with a statement from a special cash dividend of $ 2 per share. Today, markets reacted to the grocer’s promising report and the 2021 outlook with a surge in stock prices.

NGVC stock rose more than 17% at the end of November 20, its highest level since August, according to data from Sentieo.


Stock of Natural Grocers for the past 52 weeks, courtesy of Sentieo

While a robust fourth quarter helped the Lakewood, Colo.-Based grocer achieve a strong fiscal year-end 2020, the pandemic has propelled the entire grocery industry to new sales records. What struck a chord with investors eyeing NGVC today?

I would say NGVC has stuck to its founding principles: the highest ingredient standards. For example, 100% pasture-based dairy products, ”said Jay Jacobowitz, president and founder of Retail Insights, based in Brattleboro, Vermont. WGB. “This, coupled with high-end, high-visibility, high-visibility real estate in every location; a consistent and fairly aggressive price promotion posture; regular communications with clients; and all this with free nutritional advice.

Natural Grocers, long known for its educational efforts, recently launched its free nutrition education program. Usually available in person, the program went virtual in early October to provide clients with its health and wellness programs, while adhering to company-wide COVID-19 health and safety precautions. The extensive program included a series of specially curated guest speakers focused on the essentials for improving health and wellness, as well as personalized coaching sessions with the nutritional health coaches of Natural Grocers.

The grocer further expanded its appeal this year by applying its exacting quality standards to a growing selection of wines, beers and other adult beverages sold at its new Cottage Wine and Craft Beer stores. Natural Grocers now has 12 wine and beer departments and 26 craft beer departments across stores in Colorado, Oregon and Oklahoma, with nine more beer departments and 10 more wine and beer locations in planning course, according to the company.

“[Natural Grocer’s] the length of time in the market (65 years) also plays a role, in total, in reducing any apprehensions or anxiety that “primary” consumers might have at the idea of ​​shopping in a store. natural foods for the first time, ”adds Jacobowitz in response to the retailer’s inventory. price increase. The company, founded in 1955, has 160 stores in 20 states.

Here are some highlights from Q4 2020 versus Q4 2019: Net sales increased 16.3% to $ 264.2 million; average daily comparable store sales increased 13.2%; operating profit increased by 78.7% to $ 5 million; and net profit increased 174.2% for $ 3.7 million with diluted earnings per share of 16 cents. Adjusted EBITDA increased 28.1% to $ 13.3 million.

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