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United Natural Foods (NYSE:UNFI) shareholder returns have been enviable, earning 516% in 3 years

Generally speaking, investors are inspired to be stock pickers by the potential to find the big winners. Mistakes are inevitable, but a single top stock pick can cover any losses, and so much more. One such superstar is United Natural Foods, Inc. (NYSE:UNFI), which saw its share price soar 516% in three years. It's also good to see the share price up 26% over the last quarter. We love happy stories like this one. The company should be really proud of that performance!

Since it's been a strong week for United Natural Foods shareholders, let's have a look at trend of the longer term fundamentals.

See our latest analysis for United Natural Foods

To quote Buffett, 'Ships will sail around the world but the Flat Earth Society will flourish. There will continue to be wide discrepancies between price and value in the marketplace...' By comparing earnings per share (EPS) and share price changes over time, we can get a feel for how investor attitudes to a company have morphed over time.

United Natural Foods became profitable within the last three years. Given the importance of this milestone, it's not overly surprising that the share price has increased strongly.

You can see below how EPS has changed over time (discover the exact values by clicking on the image).

earnings-per-share-growth
earnings-per-share-growth

We consider it positive that insiders have made significant purchases in the last year. Even so, future earnings will be far more important to whether current shareholders make money. Before buying or selling a stock, we always recommend a close examination of historic growth trends, available here..

A Different Perspective

We're pleased to report that United Natural Foods shareholders have received a total shareholder return of 39% over one year. That gain is better than the annual TSR over five years, which is 7%. Therefore it seems like sentiment around the company has been positive lately. Given the share price momentum remains strong, it might be worth taking a closer look at the stock, lest you miss an opportunity. While it is well worth considering the different impacts that market conditions can have on the share price, there are other factors that are even more important. To that end, you should learn about the 3 warning signs we've spotted with United Natural Foods (including 1 which doesn't sit too well with us) .

United Natural Foods is not the only stock that insiders are buying. For those who like to find winning investments this free list of growing companies with recent insider purchasing, could be just the ticket.

Please note, the market returns quoted in this article reflect the market weighted average returns of stocks that currently trade on US exchanges.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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