Zoetis Inc. (NYSE:ZTS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Friday. The firm presently has a $56.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price suggests a potential upside of 11.60% from the stock’s current price.

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 several other research reports. Bank of America Corp. began coverage on Zoetis in a research note on Thursday, September 29th. They set a “buy” rating and a $60.00 target price on the stock. Citigroup Inc. lifted their target price on Zoetis from $50.00 to $53.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 4th. Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $60.00 target price on shares of Zoetis in a research note on Tuesday, August 23rd. Argus lifted their target price on Zoetis from $54.00 to $58.00 and gave the company a “below average” rating in a research note on Friday, September 9th. Finally, Barclays PLC lifted their target price on Zoetis from $45.00 to $49.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 4th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $55.92.

Analyst Recommendations for Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS)

Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) remained flat at $50.18 during mid-day trading on Friday. 793,464 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $50.18 and a 200 day moving average of $49.58. The firm has a market capitalization of $24.78 billion, a P/E ratio of 36.18 and a beta of 1.05. Zoetis has a 1-year low of $38.26 and a 1-year high of $53.14.

Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 2nd. The company reported $0.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.06. The business earned $1.20 billion during 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%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.50 EPS. On average, equities analysts expect that Zoetis will post $1.94 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 Thursday, November 3rd will be issued a $0.095 dividend. This represents a $0.38 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.76%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 1st. Zoetis’s payout ratio is 27.54%.

In other news, insider Kristin C. Peck sold 10,092 shares of Zoetis stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.55, for a total transaction of $500,058.60. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 22,768 shares in the company, valued at $1,128,154.40. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Roxanne Lagano sold 9,797 shares of Zoetis stock in a transaction 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 transaction, the insider now owns 8,063 shares in the company, valued at approximately $406,617.09. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of ZTS. Ngam Advisors L.P. increased its position in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Cullen Frost Bankers Inc. increased its position in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Columbus Circle Investors increased its position in shares of 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 in the last quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. increased its position in shares of Zoetis by 5.0% in the second quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A. now owns 5,909 shares of the company’s stock worth $281,000 after buying an additional 281 shares in the last quarter. Finally, BARING ASSET MANAGEMENT Ltd increased its position in shares of Zoetis by 13.4% in the second quarter. BARING ASSET MANAGEMENT Ltd now owns 234,643 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,136,000 after buying an additional 27,812 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 94.94% of the company’s stock.

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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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