Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. (NYSE:FDP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report issued on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $73.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price suggests a potential upside of 14.87% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. is a world leader in the production, distribution and marketing of fresh produce. The products are marketed throughout the world under the DEL MONTE brand name and is a widely recognized symbol of product quality and reliability. The major products are bananas, pineapples, deciduous fruit and melons. The deciduous fruit the company sells includes primarily grapes, plums, nectarines, peaches, apricots, cherries, apples, pears and citrus. “

Separately, Wunderlich boosted their price objective on Fresh Del Monte Produce from $70.00 to $74.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 2nd.

Fresh Del Monte Produce (NYSE:FDP) opened at 63.55 on Tuesday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $61.22 and its 200 day moving average price is $56.99. Fresh Del Monte Produce has a 12-month low of $36.68 and a 12-month high of $66.26. The stock has a market cap of $3.29 billion, a PE ratio of 23.63 and a beta of 0.30.

Fresh Del Monte Produce (NYSE:FDP) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 1st. The company reported $1.17 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.54 by $0.63. The business earned $950.20 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $950.40 million. Fresh Del Monte Produce had a return on equity of 12.62% and a net margin of 3.47%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.57 EPS. Analysts anticipate that Fresh Del Monte Produce will post $4.15 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 9th. Investors of record on Wednesday, November 16th will be issued a $0.15 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, November 14th. This represents a $0.60 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.94%. Fresh Del Monte Produce’s payout ratio is 22.06%.

In other Fresh Del Monte Produce news, Director Ghazaleh Amir Abu sold 20,142 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.79, for a total transaction of $1,264,716.18. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Chairman Mohammad Abu-Ghazaleh sold 22,698 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.12, for a total value of $1,432,697.76. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 5,315,886 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $335,538,724.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 37.80% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in FDP. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its position in shares of Fresh Del Monte Produce by 192.3% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 2,128 shares of the company’s stock worth $116,000 after buying an additional 1,400 shares during the last quarter. Barclays PLC boosted its position in shares of Fresh Del Monte Produce by 450.2% in the second quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 2,410 shares of the company’s stock worth $131,000 after buying an additional 1,972 shares during the last quarter. New York State Teachers Retirement System boosted its position in shares of Fresh Del Monte Produce by 38.1% in the second quarter. New York State Teachers Retirement System now owns 2,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $158,000 after buying an additional 800 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can purchased a new position in shares of Fresh Del Monte Produce during the second quarter worth approximately $189,000. Finally, BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its position in shares of Fresh Del Monte Produce by 111.6% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 3,641 shares of the company’s stock worth $198,000 after buying an additional 1,920 shares during the last quarter. 64.61% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Fresh Del Monte Produce Company Profile

Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc is a holding company. Through its subsidiaries, the Company is engaged in sourcing, transportation and marketing of fresh and fresh-cut fruit and vegetables together with prepared food products in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. The Company’s operations are aggregated into business segments on the basis of its products: bananas, other fresh produce and prepared food.

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