Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Freshpet Inc. (NASDAQ:FRPT) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Freshpet Inc. is a pet food company. The company manufactures and markets natural fresh foods, refrigerated meals, and treats for dogs and cats in the United States and Canada. Freshpet provides meats- based recipes, such as chicken, beef, lamb and salmon; fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, peas and leafy green vegetables, and high-fiber grains, such as brown rice, oats and barley. It sells its products under the Freshpet, Dognation, and Dog Joy brand names. Freshpet Inc. is headquartered in Secaucus, New Jersey. “

A number of other brokerages also recently issued reports on FRPT. Wedbush downgraded shares of Freshpet from an outperform rating to a neutral rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $10.00 to $11.00 in a research report on Monday, August 15th. TheStreet downgraded shares of Freshpet from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, August 18th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reissued a neutral rating and set a $10.00 price objective (up previously from $9.00) on shares of Freshpet in a research report on Friday, July 15th. Robert W. Baird reissued an outperform rating and set a $10.00 price objective on shares of Freshpet in a research report on Monday, August 8th. Finally, Stephens raised shares of Freshpet from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating in a research report on Friday, August 5th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $10.22.

Freshpet (NASDAQ:FRPT) traded down 0.69% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $8.59. The company had a trading volume of 9,216 shares. Freshpet has a 12-month low of $5.60 and a 12-month high of $11.81. The firm’s market capitalization is $273.16 million. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $9.74 and its 200 day moving average price is $9.12.

Freshpet (NASDAQ:FRPT) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported ($0.10) EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.03) by $0.07. Freshpet had a negative return on equity of 3.80% and a negative net margin of 3.12%. The company earned $33 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $32.92 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted ($0.07) EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 16.4% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that Freshpet will post ($0.12) EPS for the current year.

In related news, VP Mary Kathryn Winstanley sold 7,920 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $10.01, for a total transaction of $79,279.20. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 24,404 shares in the company, valued at approximately $244,284.04. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO William B. Cyr purchased 50,382 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 15th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $9.89 per share, for a total transaction of $498,277.98. Following the completion of the acquisition, the chief executive officer now directly owns 27,919 shares in the company, valued at approximately $276,118.91. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 8.20% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of FRPT. American International Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Freshpet by 5.7% in the second quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 12,860 shares of the company’s stock valued at $120,000 after buying an additional 690 shares during the last quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors increased its position in shares of Freshpet by 7.5% in the second quarter. Nationwide Fund Advisors now owns 14,298 shares of the company’s stock valued at $133,000 after buying an additional 992 shares during the last quarter. Rhumbline Advisers increased its position in shares of Freshpet by 4.3% in the second quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 20,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $193,000 after buying an additional 860 shares during the last quarter. US Bancorp DE purchased a new position in shares of Freshpet during the second quarter valued at approximately $278,000. Finally, Mesirow Financial Investment Management Equity Management purchased a new position in shares of Freshpet during the second quarter valued at approximately $299,000. Institutional investors own 66.93% of the company’s stock.

About Freshpet

Freshpet, Inc is a manufacturer of fresh, refrigerated pet food distributed across North America. The Company operates in the segment of manufacturing, marketing and distribution of pet food and pet treats for dogs and cats. The Company offers products consisting of dog food, cat food, and dog and cat treats.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:FRPT

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