Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Zoetis Inc. (NYSE:ZTS) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report released on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “Zoetis, one of the leading global animal health companies, is focused on both livestock and companion animals. Performance of the livestock business is concerning. Headwinds remain in the form of disease outbreaks and stiff competition in the animal health space. Zoetis continued to witness a decline in the U.S. sales of swine products in the second quarter of 2016 due to increased competition. Meanwhile, sales of poultry products are declining globally due to competitive pressures. Pipeline setbacks remain a concern as well. However, the company’s companion animal business should continue to perform well. Further, Zoetis’ efforts at boosting operational efficiency bode well. We are positive on Zoetis’ recent acquisition of Scandinavian Micro Biodevices, which should expand its offerings in the growing veterinary diagnostics segment of the animal health market. We expect to see more of such acquisitions/deals at the company.”

ZTS has been the topic of several other reports. Jefferies Group restated a buy rating and issued a $60.00 price objective on shares of Zoetis in a research report on Wednesday, September 14th. Bank of America Corp. began coverage on Zoetis in a report on Thursday, September 29th. They issued a buy rating and a $60.00 target price on the stock. Guggenheim reaffirmed a positive rating and issued a $60.00 target price on shares of Zoetis in a report on Monday, August 22nd. Citigroup Inc. lifted their target price on Zoetis from $50.00 to $53.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Thursday, August 4th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed a focus list rating and issued a $60.00 target price on shares of Zoetis in a report on Wednesday, September 7th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $55.27.

Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) traded down 0.27% during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $50.88. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 393,336 shares. Zoetis has a 12-month low of $38.26 and a 12-month high of $53.14. The company’s 50-day moving average is $51.26 and its 200 day moving average is $48.95. The firm has a market cap of $25.19 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 39.63 and a beta of 1.01.

Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.49 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.44 by $0.05. Zoetis had a return on equity of 77.58% and a net margin of 13.15%. The business had revenue of $1.20 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.17 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.43 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 2.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts forecast that Zoetis will post $1.91 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 3rd will be given a dividend of $0.095 per share. This represents a $0.38 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.74%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 1st. Zoetis’s payout ratio is presently 29.69%.

In other news, insider Heidi C. Chen sold 32,097 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.98, for a total transaction of $1,636,305.06. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 46,060 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,348,138.80. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Michael B. Mccallister purchased 2,000 shares of Zoetis stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 6th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $51.34 per share, for a total transaction of $102,680.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA increased its position in shares of Zoetis by 114.1% in the second quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 8,738,248 shares of the company’s stock worth $414,717,000 after buying an additional 4,656,765 shares during the last quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its position in shares of Zoetis by 49.9% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 7,634,826 shares of the company’s stock worth $362,349,000 after buying an additional 2,542,023 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Zoetis by 6.5% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 29,819,968 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,415,256,000 after buying an additional 1,812,428 shares during the last quarter. Marsico Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Zoetis by 321.7% in the second quarter. Marsico Capital Management LLC now owns 2,106,745 shares of the company’s stock worth $99,986,000 after buying an additional 1,607,218 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Emerald Acquisition Ltd. acquired a new position in shares of Zoetis during the second quarter worth about $69,154,000. 93.12% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Zoetis

Zoetis Inc is engaged in the discovery, development, manufacture and commercialization of animal health medicines and vaccines, with a focus on both livestock and companion animals. The Company has a diversified business, marketing products across over eight core species: cattle, swine, poultry, sheep and fish (collectively, livestock), and dogs, cats and horses (collectively, companion animals), and within over five product categories: anti-infectives, vaccines, parasiticides, medicated feed additives and other pharmaceuticals.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:ZTS

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