NYSE:PFGC Performance Food Group Company

Sector financial performance:

This company, a distributor of food to food service industry including independent restaurants, chain restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, or/and hospitality, has been grouped into food service distributor - broadline sector.

This is a sector with intensive competition and highly market concentration that enables companies to take advantage of economy of scales and supply chain efficiency.

It seems the demand from food service in US market has been strong and growing in the past four years as indicated by our data of case volumes (increased at annual average rate 3%) but there is a signal indicating that the growth may be slowing down since 2018. It seems the increase has been driven mainly by the recent recovery of independent local restaurants sector and its increased merger& acquisition activities. Data indicate that demand from chain restaurants presented downward trend in 2015-2017 and played less important roles in generating profits for companies since they provide usually smaller gross margins compared with serving for local independent restaurants.

Benefiting from strong demand from food services and improved gross margins, companies have experienced increase in their profits while the volatile supply price of food, which are not easy to be passed on to customers.

A typical gross margin for companies in this sector is around 19% with around 15% SG&A spending as percentage of sales. Some relatively smaller distributor has much lower gross margin ( around 13%) with less spending on SG&A as percentage of sales of 12%. It seems economy sales and the relative efficient matter in companies’ margins. Therefore, their operating margins usually vary from 1.5% (smaller company) to 4%.

According our analysis, there is a large span between companies’ enterprise price/adjusted EBI from 27with interest/EBITDA ratio of 15%. 

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Company performance:

It seems the demand from US food service industry, especially independent restaurants has increased in the past three years as a result of increased mergers activities among that type of restaurants.

For the first three months of fiscal 2019 compared with same period of 2018(ended 20180930)

Organic sales (excluding impacts of extra weeks) of this company increased about 4% primarily attributable to increase in case volume of 3.7%. 

For fiscal 2018 compared with 2017(ended 20180630)

Organic sales (excluding impacts of extra weeks) of this company increased about 5% primarily attributable to increase in case volume of 3%.  

Organic sales (excluding impacts of extra weeks) of this company increased about 6.2% in the fiscal 2017 compared with 2016, primarily attributable to increase of about 6% in case volume from independent restaurant. 

Organic sales (excluding impacts of acquisition) increased about 3.3% in fiscal 2016 compared with 2015, attributable to increase of 4.8% in case volume offset by decrease of 1.5% in overall rate per case.

Organic sales (excluding impacts of acquisition) increased about 8.8% in fiscal 2015 compared with 2014, attributable to increase of 6.4% in case volume and increase of 2.4% in price.

With slight increase in gross margin (about 13% in 2018) and a little more saving from SG&A, this company’s operating margin was improved from 0.8% to 1.4% of 2018. Its operating income thus has increased in the past several years as case volume increased.

Stock price

This stock currently has an enterprise price/EBI ratio of 28, which we think, is relatively slightly undervalued with its peers.



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