Dean Foods Co. (NYSE:DF) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday. The firm presently has a $22.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price indicates a potential upside of 16.71% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Driven by improved raw milk prices, Dean Foods’ third-quarter 2016 earnings matched estimates and also approached the higher end of its earlier projection, alongside surging year over year. Sales also beat estimates for the third straight time, with the quarter registering record volume improvement in four years. The company expects the volume enhancement to continue in the fourth quarter, along with better pricing and continued cost management. Moreover, the company is on track with its shift toward the profitable dairy products space, which is evident from the performance of its recently acquired Friendly’s business. Given these factors, management issued a robust earnings view for the final quarter, which is also expected to mark Dean Foods’ eighth straight quarter of adjusted operating income growth. However, stiff competition, fluctuating raw material prices and industry consolidation remain concerns.”

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on DF. DA Davidson restated a “hold” rating on shares of Dean Foods in a research report on Tuesday. Credit Suisse Group AG restated a “sell” rating on shares of Dean Foods in a research report on Tuesday, August 9th. TheStreet cut shares of Dean Foods from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 10th. Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating on shares of Dean Foods in a research report on Wednesday, August 10th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG restated a “buy” rating on shares of Dean Foods in a research report on Wednesday, November 2nd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $21.04.

Analyst Recommendations for Dean Foods (NYSE:DF)

Shares of Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) opened at 18.85 on Wednesday. Dean Foods has a 12 month low of $15.69 and a 12 month high of $21.17. The firm has a market cap of $1.70 billion, a PE ratio of 15.63 and a beta of 0.20. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $17.11 and a 200-day moving average price of $17.58.

Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) last issued its earnings results on Monday, November 7th. The company reported $0.37 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.36 by $0.01. The company earned $1.96 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.63 billion. Dean Foods had a net margin of 1.37% and a return on equity of 25.11%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.30 EPS. On average, analysts predict that Dean Foods will post $1.57 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 21st will be paid a dividend of $0.09 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 17th. This represents a $0.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.91%. Dean Foods’s dividend payout ratio is 31.30%.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Japan Co. Ltd increased its position in Dean Foods by 158.0% in the third quarter. BlackRock Japan Co. Ltd now owns 7,735 shares of the company’s stock worth $127,000 after buying an additional 4,737 shares in the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio increased its stake in shares of Dean Foods by 17.0% in the second quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 7,616 shares of the company’s stock valued at $138,000 after buying an additional 1,104 shares during the period. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Dean Foods during the second quarter valued at about $172,000. Janney Montgomery Scott LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Dean Foods during the second quarter valued at about $174,000. Finally, First Allied Advisory Services Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Dean Foods during the second quarter valued at about $182,000.

About Dean Foods

Dean Foods Company is a food and beverage company. The Company processes and distributes fluid milk and other dairy case products in the United States. The Company operates through manufacturing, marketing, selling and distributing a wide variety of branded and private label dairy case product segment.

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