Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Zoetis Inc. (ZTS) to Hold
Zoetis Inc. (NYSE:ZTS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Monday.
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.”
A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $53.00 price objective on shares of Zoetis in a report on Thursday, November 3rd. Bank of America Corp. started coverage on shares of Zoetis in a report on Thursday, September 29th. They set a “buy” rating and a $60.00 price objective for the company. Argus lifted their price objective on shares of Zoetis from $54.00 to $58.00 and gave the company a “below average” rating in a report on Friday, September 9th. Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $60.00 price objective on shares of Zoetis in a report on Tuesday, August 23rd. Finally, Guggenheim restated a “positive” rating and set a $60.00 price target on shares of Zoetis in a report on Monday, August 22nd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Zoetis currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $55.92.
Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) opened at 50.45 on Monday. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $50.03 and a 200 day moving average of $49.67. Zoetis has a 12-month low of $38.26 and a 12-month high of $53.14. The company has a market capitalization of $24.91 billion, a PE ratio of 36.37 and a beta of 1.05.
Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 2nd. The company reported $0.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.46 by $0.06. The firm earned $1.20 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.22 billion. Zoetis had a net margin of 14.10% and a return on equity of 72.96%. The business’s revenue was up 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.50 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that Zoetis will post $1.94 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 3rd will be given a $0.095 dividend. This represents a $0.38 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.75%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 1st. Zoetis’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 27.54%.
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In other news, insider Roxanne Lagano sold 9,797 shares of the business’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 sale, the insider now owns 8,063 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $406,617.09. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Andrew Fenton sold 13,870 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.25, for a total transaction of $710,837.50. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 17,719 shares in the company, valued at approximately $908,098.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD raised its stake in Zoetis by 12.3% in the third quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 34,863,382 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,813,244,000 after buying an additional 3,806,515 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Zoetis by 6.5% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 29,819,968 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,415,256,000 after buying an additional 1,812,428 shares during the period. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its stake in Zoetis by 7.1% in the third quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 12,516,447 shares of the company’s stock worth $650,980,000 after buying an additional 830,200 shares during the period. Independent Franchise Partners LLP raised its stake in Zoetis by 1.6% in the third quarter. Independent Franchise Partners LLP now owns 11,361,033 shares of the company’s stock worth $590,887,000 after buying an additional 177,286 shares during the period. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its stake in Zoetis by 1.3% in the third quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 10,016,876 shares of the company’s stock worth $520,978,000 after buying an additional 126,708 shares during the period. 92.41% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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.
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