Zoetis Inc. (NYSE:ZTS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $55.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price points to a potential upside of 11.77% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Zoetis reported better-than-expected third-quarter results, wherein earnings surpassed estimates by a wide margin. It also managed to beat revenue estimates, albeit marginally. Zoetis’ companion animal business continued to perform well in the reported quarter.Zoetis has once again raised its earnings outlook for 2016 on the back of a strong year-to-date performance, which is encouraging. Further, its efforts on 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 as it continues to focus on acquiring complementary businesses and products.However, performance of the livestock business is concerning. Headwinds remain in the form of disease outbreaks and stiff competition in the animal health space.”

ZTS has been the topic of a number of other reports. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 target price on shares of Zoetis in a research report on Wednesday, September 14th. Bank of America Corp. began coverage on Zoetis in a research note on Thursday, September 29th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $60.00 price objective for the company. Guggenheim reissued a “positive” rating and issued a $60.00 price objective on shares of Zoetis in a research note on Monday, August 22nd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $53.00 price objective on shares of Zoetis in a research note on Thursday, November 3rd. Finally, Citigroup Inc. increased their price objective on Zoetis from $50.00 to $53.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 4th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Zoetis currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $55.83.

Analyst Recommendations for Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS)

Shares of Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) opened at 49.21 on Wednesday. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $50.40 and its 200 day moving average price is $49.50. Zoetis has a one year low of $38.26 and a one year high of $53.14. The stock has a market capitalization of $24.30 billion, a P/E ratio of 35.48 and a beta of 1.05.

Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, November 2nd. The company reported $0.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.46 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $1.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.22 billion. Zoetis had a return on equity of 72.96% and a net margin of 14.10%. Zoetis’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.50 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts expect that Zoetis will post $1.94 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 3rd will be issued a dividend of $0.095 per share. This represents a $0.38 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.77%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 1st. Zoetis’s dividend payout ratio is 27.54%.

In other Zoetis news, Director Michael B. Mccallister bought 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 6th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $51.34 per share, with a total value of $102,680.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Roxanne Lagano sold 9,797 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.43, for a total value of $494,062.71. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 8,063 shares in the company, valued at approximately $406,617.09. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in ZTS. Ngam Advisors L.P. raised its stake in Zoetis by 88.0% in the second quarter. Ngam Advisors L.P. now owns 200,416 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,512,000 after buying an additional 93,838 shares during the period. Cullen Frost Bankers Inc. raised its stake in Zoetis by 0.7% in the second quarter. Cullen Frost Bankers Inc. now owns 347,368 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,486,000 after buying an additional 2,470 shares during the period. Columbus Circle Investors raised its stake in Zoetis by 43.9% in the second quarter. Columbus Circle Investors now owns 477,128 shares of the company’s stock worth $22,644,000 after buying an additional 145,641 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc raised its stake in Zoetis by 0.9% in the first quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 2,104,616 shares of the company’s stock worth $93,293,000 after buying an additional 18,063 shares during the period. Finally, York Capital Management Global Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in Zoetis during the first quarter worth about $49,823,000. 93.89% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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