A challenging operating environment and softness in the Garden portfolio are making things tough for Central Garden & Pet Company CENT. Despite undertaking concerted efforts to tide over the unwarranted situation, these factors compelled management to trim the fiscal 2022 GAAP earnings view. The Walnut Creek, CA-based company, now expects earnings to be at or above prior year GAAP earnings of $2.75 per share. The company had earlier guided fiscal 2022 GAAP earnings to be $3.10 or better.\nContinued inflation in commodities, labor and freight coupled with geopolitical tensions have been impacting the business. Management cited unfavorable weather conditions, lower foot traffic and changing inventory expectations from customers behind sluggishness in the Garden segment. Poor Garden season was the primary reason for lowering the outlook.\nThe company’s lawn and garden businesses are highly seasonal in nature. Roughly 69% of the Garden segment’s net sales occur during the second and third quarters. In early May, management had informed that the garden season had a late start. This was evident from an 8.7% decline in organic sales in the second quarter.\nCentral Garden & Pet Company’s current guidance takes into account rising costs for key commodities, freight and labor and a return to more normalized consumer demand patterns following exceptional demand spanning two fiscal years. The projection considers anticipated pricing actions as well as investments in capacity expansion, brand building, consumer insights, innovation and e-commerce.\nDespite near-term headwinds, the company believes that its Central to Home strategy and strategic investments should drive growth and help capture opportunities in both the Pet and Garden space. Central Garden & Pet Company has been reinforcing its position through strategic buyouts.\nSome of the notable acquisitions in the past include that of D&D Commodities Ltd., a leading provider of premium bird feed; Green Garden Products, a leading provider of vegetable, herb and flower seed packets, seed starters and plant nutrients; and Hopewell Nursery, a leading live goods grower. The company had also acquired DoMyOwn.com, a leading and fast-growing online retailer of professional-grade control products.\nShares of this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company have fallen 4.3% in the past three months compared with the industry’s decline of 10.2%.\n3 Stocks Looking Red Hot\nWe have highlighted three better-ranked stocks, namely Dollar Tree DLTR, Sysco Corporation SYY and United Natural Foods UNFI.\nDollar Tree, which operates discount variety retail stores, flaunts a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) at present. DLTR has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 13.1%, on average. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.\nThe Zacks Consensus Estimate for Dollar Tree’s current financial-year sales and EPS suggests growth of 6.7% and 40.5%, respectively, from the year-ago reported numbers. DLTR has an expected EPS growth rate of 15.5% for three-five years.\nSysco Corporation, which is engaged in the marketing and distribution of various food and related products, sports a Zacks Rank #1. The company has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 9.1%, on average.\nThe Zacks Consensus Estimate for Sysco Corporation’s current financial year sales and EPS suggests growth of 32.6% and 124.3%, respectively, from the year-ago period. SYY has an expected EPS growth rate of 11% for three-five years.\nUnited Natural Foods, one of the premier grocery wholesalers delivering the widest variety of fresh, branded, and owned brand products, carries a Zacks Rank #1 at present. UNFI has a trailing four-quarter earnings surprise of 29.9%, on average.\nThe Zacks Consensus Estimate for United Natural Foods’s current financial-year sales and EPS suggests growth of 7.2% and 4.9%, respectively, from the year-ago reported numbers.\nZacks' Top Picks to Cash in on Electric Vehicles\nBig money has already been made in the Electric Vehicle (EV) industry. But, the EV revolution has not hit full throttle yet. There is a lot of money to be made as the next push for future technologies ramps up. Zacks’ Special Report reveals 5 picks investors\nSee 5 EV Stocks With Extreme Upside Potential >>\nClick to get this free report\nDollar Tree, Inc. (DLTR): Free Stock Analysis Report\nCentral Garden & Pet Company (CENT): Free Stock Analysis Report\nSysco Corporation (SYY): Free Stock Analysis Report\nUnited Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI): Free Stock Analysis Report\nTo read this article on Zacks.com click here.\nZacks Investment Research\nThe views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.