Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of J.M. Smucker Co. (NYSE:SJM) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Estimates have been declining ahead of Smucker’s second quarter fiscal 2017 results. Though the company remains focused on improving the performance of the mainstream dog and cat brands, heightened competition in the pet food business in the near term remains a concern. Sluggish pet food sales also led to a cut in sales outlook for fiscal 2017. Currency headwinds and the divestiture of the U.S. canned milk business also hurt sales growth. Nevertheless, we are impressed with the company’s strong organic sales growth, product innovation and constant efforts to expand through acquisitions. The company also remains optimistic on the company’s innovation program. Lower coffee costs would also add to the profits.”

Several other equities analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $162.00 target price (up from $150.00) on shares of J.M. Smucker in a research report on Monday. Jefferies Group dropped their target price on J.M. Smucker from $143.00 to $135.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, October 12th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a focus list rating on shares of J.M. Smucker in a research report on Tuesday, October 4th. Credit Suisse Group AG downgraded J.M. Smucker from an outperform rating to a neutral rating and lowered their price objective for the stock from $158.00 to $145.00 in a research report on Tuesday, September 27th. Finally, Hilliard Lyons raised J.M. Smucker from an underperform rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Thursday, September 22nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $145.70.

J.M. Smucker (NYSE:SJM) traded down 3.61% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $125.26. 896,754 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. J.M. Smucker has a one year low of $116.42 and a one year high of $157.31. The stock has a market cap of $14.58 billion, a PE ratio of 20.60 and a beta of 0.56. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $131.63 and its 200-day moving average price is $139.68.

J.M. Smucker (NYSE:SJM) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 17th. The company reported $2.05 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.93 by $0.12. The firm had revenue of $1.91 billion for the quarter. J.M. Smucker had a net margin of 9.41% and a return on equity of 11.76%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.62 earnings per share. On average, analysts forecast that J.M. Smucker will post $7.68 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Investors of record on Friday, November 11th will be issued a $0.75 dividend. This represents a $3.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.31%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 8th. J.M. Smucker’s payout ratio is 49.26%.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. boosted its position in shares of J.M. Smucker by 16.3% in the second quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. now owns 679 shares of the company’s stock worth $103,000 after buying an additional 95 shares during the last quarter. Fuller & Thaler Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of J.M. Smucker during the third quarter worth about $108,000. City Holding Co. bought a new position in shares of J.M. Smucker during the second quarter worth about $110,000. PineBridge Investments L.P. bought a new position in shares of J.M. Smucker during the second quarter worth about $134,000. Finally, Financial Architects Inc bought a new position in shares of J.M. Smucker during the third quarter worth about $139,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 76.39% of the company’s stock.

About J.M. Smucker

The J. M. Smucker Company is a manufacturer and marketer of branded food and beverage products and pet food and pet snacks in North America. The Company’s segments include U.S. Retail Coffee, U.S. Retail Consumer Foods, U.S. Retail Pet Foods, and International and Foodservice. The Company’s U.S. retail market segments consist of the sale of branded food products to consumers through retail outlets in North America.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:SJM

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