Bemis Co. (NYSE:BMS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Bemis’ third-quarter 2016 adjusted earnings per share came in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate but logged a 12% year over year growth. Bemis lowered its earnings per share guidance for 2016 to the range of $2.65 to $2.70 due to lower volume expectations in the U.S. packaging. Bemis continues to bear the brunt of a flat to declining U.S. packaged food market. Further, the company continues to see headwinds from its new healthcare packaging plant in Oshkosh. The new workforce is not yet skilled and the company expects a lower ramp on productivity than initially expected as it trains its workforce. This will affect the fourth quarter as well. Bemis' estimates for the fourth quarter and and full-year 2016 have moved south of late, reflecting these headwinds.”

Several other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $46.00 price target (down from $47.00) on shares of Bemis in a research note on Tuesday, November 1st. Bank of America Corp. cut shares of Bemis from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $54.00 price target on the stock. in a research note on Friday, October 28th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and set a $52.00 price target on shares of Bemis in a research note on Tuesday, August 2nd. Finally, FIX began coverage on shares of Bemis in a research note on Thursday, July 28th. They set a “reduce” rating and a $28.00 price target on the stock. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. Bemis presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $50.42.

Analyst Recommendations for Bemis (NYSE:BMS)

Shares of Bemis (NYSE:BMS) traded up 0.20% during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $49.92. 855,264 shares of the company traded hands. The stock has a market capitalization of $4.68 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.64 and a beta of 0.89. Bemis has a 12 month low of $42.45 and a 12 month high of $54.19. The company’s 50 day moving average is $49.25 and its 200-day moving average is $50.47.

Bemis (NYSE:BMS) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 27th. The company reported $0.75 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.75. Bemis had a net margin of 5.81% and a return on equity of 20.19%. The firm earned $1.03 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.06 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.67 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that Bemis will post $2.68 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 16th will be given a dividend of $0.29 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, November 14th. This represents a $1.16 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.32%. Bemis’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 47.93%.

In other Bemis news, Director Edward N. Perry sold 1,561 shares of Bemis stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.40, for a total transaction of $77,113.40. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 96,577 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,770,903.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Company insiders own 1.10% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in BMS. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd raised its stake in Bemis by 2,100.0% in the second quarter. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd now owns 2,200 shares of the company’s stock worth $113,000 after buying an additional 2,100 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. purchased a new stake in Bemis during the second quarter worth about $152,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its stake in Bemis by 15.8% in the third quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,111 shares of the company’s stock worth $159,000 after buying an additional 425 shares in the last quarter. MCF Advisors LLC raised its stake in Bemis by 0.6% in the second quarter. MCF Advisors LLC now owns 3,114 shares of the company’s stock worth $160,000 after buying an additional 20 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Tower Research Capital LLC TRC raised its stake in Bemis by 302.8% in the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 3,790 shares of the company’s stock worth $195,000 after buying an additional 2,849 shares in the last quarter. 75.68% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Bemis Company Profile

Bemis Company, Inc is a manufacturer of packaging products. The Company operates through two business segments: U.S. Packaging and Global Packaging. The U.S. Packaging segment represents food, consumer and industrial products packaging-related manufacturing operations in the United States. The U.S. Packaging segment manufactures multilayer polymer, blown and cast film structures to produce packaging sold for food and personal care product applications, as well as non-food applications.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:BMS

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