Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (NYSE:IFF) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday morning. They currently have $159.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “International Flavors & Fragrances is well positioned to benefit from the growing demand for flavors and fragrances, especially in the emerging countries. The company's research and development wing is constantly endeavoring to develop innovative compounds for meeting the rising demand. Also, the company is committed to rewarding its shareholders handsomely. In addition, the recently announced acquisition of flavors company, David Michael will boost the company's flavors business in the fast-growing middle-markets and generate incremental revenue of $85 million in 2017. For 2016, the company expects currency-neutral net sales to grow roughly 3.5-4.5%; while adjusted earnings per share will likely increase 6.5-8.5%. Over the last 60 days, earnings estimates for 2016 and 2017 have increased.”

IFF has been the subject of several other reports. Argus increased their price objective on International Flavors & Fragrances from $146.00 to $156.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, August 16th. Gabelli downgraded International Flavors & Fragrances from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, August 10th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a buy rating and issued a $153.00 price objective on shares of International Flavors & Fragrances in a report on Sunday, August 14th. Sanford C. Bernstein began coverage on International Flavors & Fragrances in a report on Monday, September 19th. They issued an outperform rating and a $160.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Berenberg Bank reissued a buy rating and issued a $163.40 price objective on shares of International Flavors & Fragrances in a report on Monday, September 26th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $148.80.

International Flavors & Fragrances (NYSE:IFF) traded down 0.36% during trading on Tuesday, hitting $139.92. 51,669 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock has a market cap of $11.14 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.77 and a beta of 1.03. International Flavors & Fragrances has a 12 month low of $97.24 and a 12 month high of $143.64. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $138.29 and its 200-day moving average is $128.82.

International Flavors & Fragrances (NYSE:IFF) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Monday, August 8th. The company reported $1.47 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.40 by $0.07. The business earned $793.48 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $785.60 million. International Flavors & Fragrances had a return on equity of 26.66% and a net margin of 13.52%. The company’s revenue was up 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.29 earnings per share. On average, analysts forecast that International Flavors & Fragrances will post $5.56 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, October 6th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 26th will be given a $0.64 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, September 22nd. This represents a $2.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.82%. This is a boost from International Flavors & Fragrances’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.56. International Flavors & Fragrances’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 49.90%.

In other news, insider Nicolas Mirzayantz sold 3,880 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, July 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $132.11, for a total value of $512,586.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 63,897 shares in the company, valued at $8,441,432.67. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. 0.55% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Quadrant Capital Group LLC boosted its position in shares of International Flavors & Fragrances by 0.5% in the second quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 874 shares of the company’s stock worth $110,000 after buying an additional 4 shares in the last quarter. Veritable L.P. boosted its position in shares of International Flavors & Fragrances by 1.4% in the second quarter. Veritable L.P. now owns 1,975 shares of the company’s stock worth $249,000 after buying an additional 28 shares in the last quarter. Albert D Mason Inc. boosted its position in shares of International Flavors & Fragrances by 0.3% in the second quarter. Albert D Mason Inc. now owns 12,470 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,572,000 after buying an additional 35 shares in the last quarter. Creative Planning boosted its position in shares of International Flavors & Fragrances by 2.8% in the second quarter. Creative Planning now owns 1,383 shares of the company’s stock worth $174,000 after buying an additional 38 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. boosted its position in shares of International Flavors & Fragrances by 2.1% in the second quarter. Mn Services Vermogensbeheer B.V. now owns 2,039 shares of the company’s stock worth $231,000 after buying an additional 42 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 81.17% of the company’s stock.

International Flavors & Fragrances Company Profile

International Flavors & Fragrances Inc (IFF) creates, manufactures and supplies flavors and fragrances (including cosmetic active ingredients) for the food, beverage, personal care and household products industries either in the form of compounds or individual ingredients. The Company operates in two segments: Flavors and Fragrances.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:IFF

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