Patterson Cos. (NASDAQ:PDCO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “We remain particularly upbeat about the growth prospects of The Patterson Companies’ Animal Health segment and the recently formed a partnership with Heartland Dental, a significant positive to strengthen the company’s dental business. Additionally Patterson offers a wide range of consumable supplies, equipment, software, and value-added services to its customers, which is likely to enhance the company’s growth trajectory for the long haul. However unfavorable foreign exchange rate, higher operating expenses and accelerating debt are the major concerns at present for the company. Additionally, the U.S. dental products distribution industry is highly competitive and poises a major threat for Patterson. Meanwhile, a glimpse on the estimate trends reveals that estimates are stable for the current year, before the company’s earnings release of second-quarter of fiscal 2017.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Off Wall Street initiated coverage on Patterson Cos. in a research note on Monday, August 8th. They set a “sell” rating on the stock. Bank of America Corp. initiated coverage on Patterson Cos. in a research note on Wednesday, August 24th. They set an “underperform” rating and a $44.00 price objective on the stock. Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 target price on shares of Patterson Cos. in a report on Monday, June 27th. Robert W. Baird reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $49.00 target price (down from $51.00) on shares of Patterson Cos. in a report on Friday, August 26th. Finally, Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Patterson Cos. in a report on Thursday, August 4th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $48.40.

Analyst Recommendations for Patterson Cos. (NASDAQ:PDCO)

Shares of Patterson Cos. (NASDAQ:PDCO) traded down 0.53% during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $45.26. The company had a trading volume of 306,269 shares. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $45.97 and a 200-day moving average of $46.60. Patterson Cos. has a 12-month low of $38.51 and a 12-month high of $50.40. The company has a market capitalization of $4.32 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.32 and a beta of 0.94.

Patterson Cos. (NASDAQ:PDCO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 25th. The company reported $0.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.51. Patterson Cos. had a return on equity of 17.42% and a net margin of 3.52%. The firm had revenue of $1.32 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.35 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.47 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 15.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Patterson Cos. will post $2.67 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 28th. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 14th will be issued a $0.24 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 12th. This represents a $0.96 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.11%. Patterson Cos.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 47.29%.

In other Patterson Cos. news, insider Ann B. Gugino sold 750 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.22, for a total value of $34,665.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 40,153 shares in the company, valued at $1,855,871.66. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. 0.46% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Parnassus Investments CA raised its stake in shares of Patterson Cos. by 11.4% in the second quarter. Parnassus Investments CA now owns 7,055,974 shares of the company’s stock valued at $337,911,000 after buying an additional 724,258 shares during the period. FMR LLC increased its position in shares of Patterson Cos. by 70.4% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,678,442 shares of the company’s stock worth $80,380,000 after buying an additional 693,333 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its position in shares of Patterson Cos. by 460.9% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 802,415 shares of the company’s stock worth $38,428,000 after buying an additional 659,350 shares in the last quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. increased its position in shares of Patterson Cos. by 351.5% in the second quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. now owns 627,731 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,647,000 after buying an additional 488,695 shares in the last quarter. Finally, UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. increased its position in shares of Patterson Cos. by 114.9% in the second quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 771,364 shares of the company’s stock worth $36,941,000 after buying an additional 412,361 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 77.29% of the company’s stock.

Patterson Cos. Company Profile

Patterson Companies, Inc is a distributor serving the dental, veterinary and rehabilitation supply markets. The Company operates through three segments: dental supply, veterinary supply and rehabilitation supply. The dental supply segment provides a range of consumable dental products, clinical and laboratory equipment, and value-added services to dentists, dental laboratories, institutions and other dental healthcare providers across North America.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:PDCO

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