Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Pinnacle Foods Inc. (PF) to Hold
Pinnacle Foods Inc. (NYSE:PF) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Monday.
According to Zacks, “Estimates have largely remained unchanged ahead of Pinnacle Foods' third quarter earnings release. Pinnacle Foods has a strong portfolio of brands and intends to continue to invest in innovation in order to further differentiate its brands in the marketplace. The food company has also been carrying out various acquisitions over the years to grow its distribution network and customer base and boost long-term growth. The company also has an operational excellence program in place designed to generate annual productivity savings across the supply chain. However, increased consumer marketing investment, cost inflation and currency headwinds are likely to hurt profits. The company also expects higher expenses in 2016 due to innovation and costs related with product launches.”
Several other brokerages also recently commented on PF. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “” rating and set a $56.00 price target (up previously from $50.00) on shares of Pinnacle Foods in a research report on Thursday, July 14th. Stifel Nicolaus raised shares of Pinnacle Foods from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. raised shares of Pinnacle Foods from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price objective for the company from $48.00 to $57.00 in a research report on Tuesday, July 12th. Rowe raised shares of Pinnacle Foods from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 price target on the stock in a report on Friday, July 29th. Finally, DA Davidson raised their price target on shares of Pinnacle Foods from $42.00 to $47.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Pinnacle Foods has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $52.27.
Shares of Pinnacle Foods (NYSE:PF) opened at 51.44 on Monday. The company has a market cap of $6.07 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.64 and a beta of 0.35. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $50.26 and a 200 day moving average of $46.83. Pinnacle Foods has a 52-week low of $39.15 and a 52-week high of $52.00.
Pinnacle Foods (NYSE:PF) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.42 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.39 by $0.03. The company earned $756.40 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $754.89 million. Pinnacle Foods had a net margin of 6.90% and a return on equity of 13.01%. Pinnacle Foods’s quarterly revenue was up 19.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.36 EPS. On average, equities research analysts expect that Pinnacle Foods will post $2.14 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 10th. Investors of record on Tuesday, August 30th were issued a $0.285 dividend. This is an increase from Pinnacle Foods’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.26. The ex-dividend date was Friday, August 26th. This represents a $1.14 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.22%. Pinnacle Foods’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 67.86%.
In other Pinnacle Foods news, EVP Michael Kelley Maggs sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.10, for a total transaction of $250,500.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 55,951 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,803,145.10. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Christopher J. Boever sold 71,346 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.29, for a total transaction of $3,659,336.34. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 95,565 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,901,528.85. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 2.75% of the company’s stock.
A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in PF. State Street Corp boosted its stake in Pinnacle Foods by 2.5% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,273,348 shares of the company’s stock valued at $56,899,000 after buying an additional 30,596 shares during the last quarter. Strs Ohio boosted its stake in Pinnacle Foods by 19.5% in the second quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 490,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $22,682,000 after buying an additional 80,000 shares during the last quarter. Monarch Partners Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in Pinnacle Foods by 22.4% in the second quarter. Monarch Partners Asset Management LLC now owns 239,163 shares of the company’s stock valued at $11,071,000 after buying an additional 43,700 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Pinnacle Foods by 5.9% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 694,471 shares of the company’s stock valued at $31,028,000 after buying an additional 38,818 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. boosted its stake in Pinnacle Foods by 12.5% in the first quarter. Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. now owns 1,261,732 shares of the company’s stock valued at $56,374,000 after buying an additional 140,000 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 97.09% of the company’s stock.
About Pinnacle Foods
Pinnacle Foods Inc is a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of branded food products in North America. The Company operates through three segments: the Birds Eye Frozen segment, the Duncan Hines Grocery segment and the Specialty Foods segment. The Birds Eye Frozen segment manages its brands in the United States retail frozen vegetables (Birds Eye), frozen complete bagged meals (Birds Eye Voila!), and frozen seafood (Van de Kamp’s and Mrs.
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