Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Sysco Corp. (NYSE:SYY) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Sysco’s first-quarter fiscal 2017 earnings exceeded Zacks Consensus Estimate while revenues beat marginally. The acquisition of London-based Brakes Group and margin improvement probably drove the earnings beat. Adjusted earnings were up 28.8% year over year on the back of expense management and improved margins. Sales also increased 11.2% on a year-over-year basis, despite unfavorable currency. We note that the company’s sales have improved consistently driven by acquisitions and volume growth. The company’s efforts to boost sales and margins are bearing fruits, as the company has delivered positive gross margins in the last six consecutive quarters, after consistently declining since the last two fiscal years. However, currency headwinds and persistent food-cost deflation remains a concern.”

Several other brokerages have also issued reports on SYY. BMO Capital Markets set a $56.00 price target on shares of Sysco Corp. and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 9th. Barclays PLC upgraded shares of Sysco Corp. from an underweight rating to an equal weight rating and increased their price target for the stock from $48.00 to $53.00 in a research note on Wednesday, November 9th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Credit Suisse Group AG lowered shares of Sysco Corp. from an outperform rating to a neutral rating and decreased their price target for the stock from $59.00 to $55.00 in a research note on Wednesday, November 16th. Bank of America Corp. upgraded shares of Sysco Corp. from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $60.00 price target for the company in a research note on Tuesday, November 8th. Finally, Pivotal Research increased their price objective on shares of Sysco Corp. from $45.00 to $53.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 8th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $52.63.

Shares of Sysco Corp. (NYSE:SYY) opened at 53.89 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $29.47 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.81 and a beta of 0.49. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $50.35 and a 200 day moving average of $50.46. Sysco Corp. has a 12 month low of $38.84 and a 12 month high of $54.66.

Sysco Corp. (NYSE:SYY) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, November 7th. The company reported $0.67 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.58 by $0.09. The company earned $14 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $13.88 billion. Sysco Corp. had a net margin of 1.99% and a return on equity of 35.49%. Sysco Corp.’s quarterly revenue was up 11.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.52 EPS. On average, analysts expect that Sysco Corp. will post $2.43 earnings per share for the current year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 27th. Stockholders of record on Friday, January 6th will be given a dividend of $0.33 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, January 4th. This represents a $1.32 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.45%. This is a boost from Sysco Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.31. Sysco Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 68.13%.

In other news, SVP Greg D. Bertrand sold 16,500 shares of Sysco Corp. stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.79, for a total transaction of $838,035.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 57,491 shares in the company, valued at $2,919,967.89. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Paul T. Moskowitz sold 74,271 shares of Sysco Corp. stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.40, for a total transaction of $3,817,529.40. Following the sale, the insider now owns 78,695 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,044,923. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 8.81% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC boosted its stake in Sysco Corp. by 0.4% in the third quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC now owns 2,878 shares of the company’s stock valued at $141,000 after buying an additional 12 shares during the last quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust boosted its stake in Sysco Corp. by 0.6% in the third quarter. Parkside Financial Bank & Trust now owns 2,324 shares of the company’s stock valued at $114,000 after buying an additional 13 shares during the last quarter. Blue Chip Partners Inc. boosted its stake in Sysco Corp. by 0.7% in the second quarter. Blue Chip Partners Inc. now owns 2,894 shares of the company’s stock valued at $147,000 after buying an additional 19 shares during the last quarter. Segment Wealth Management LLC boosted its stake in Sysco Corp. by 0.5% in the third quarter. Segment Wealth Management LLC now owns 5,047 shares of the company’s stock valued at $247,000 after buying an additional 23 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Oakworth Capital Inc. boosted its stake in Sysco Corp. by 0.9% in the third quarter. Oakworth Capital Inc. now owns 3,888 shares of the company’s stock valued at $191,000 after buying an additional 34 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 77.33% of the company’s stock.

Sysco Corp. Company Profile

Sysco Corporation (Sysco) along with its subsidiaries and divisions, is a North American distributor of food and related products primarily to the foodservice or food-away-from-home industry. The Company provides products and related services to approximately 425,000 customers, including restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging establishments and other foodservice customers.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:SYY

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