Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Diageo PLC (NYSE:DEO) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Tuesday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $149.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Diageo have outperformed the industry in the last six months, primarily due to its strong fundamentals, continuous innovation and focus on expansion. Also, the company’s strategic endeavors including growth via acquisitions remain noteworthy. In fact, the buyout of the U.S. fastest-growing premium tequila brand, Casamigos, is expected to boost its market share in the category. Also, the addition of Casamigos is likely to capitalize on the company’s presence in the high-growth international markets. Alongside, its existing Don Julio brand has strengthened Diageo’s position in the tequila category. Also, the company has been putting greater thrust on high-margin products to improve its overall profitability. However, currency headwinds and other macroeconomic concerns might subdue its performance, going forward.”

Several other analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Societe Generale upgraded shares of Diageo PLC from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Monday, June 26th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Diageo PLC from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 21st. Citigroup Inc. downgraded shares of Diageo PLC from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Thursday, May 25th. Jefferies Group LLC set a $142.00 price objective on shares of Diageo PLC and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein raised shares of Diageo PLC from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and lifted their target price for the company from $142.36 to $153.00 in a report on Friday, July 28th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $143.50.

Shares of Diageo PLC (NYSE DEO) opened at 132.54 on Tuesday. The company’s 50 day moving average is $126.98 and its 200 day moving average is $119.85. Diageo PLC has a 12 month low of $99.46 and a 12 month high of $134.49. The company has a market cap of $83.28 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.13 and a beta of 0.76.

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The firm also recently announced a semiannual dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, October 11th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 11th will be issued a $2.0322 dividend. This represents a dividend yield of 3.12%. This is a boost from Diageo PLC’s previous semiannual dividend of $1.19. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 9th.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC boosted its position in shares of Diageo PLC by 297.6% in the first quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC now owns 986 shares of the company’s stock valued at $116,000 after buying an additional 738 shares in the last quarter. Harbour Capital Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Diageo PLC during the first quarter valued at about $118,000. Glassman Wealth Services boosted its position in shares of Diageo PLC by 116.8% in the first quarter. Glassman Wealth Services now owns 1,071 shares of the company’s stock valued at $124,000 after buying an additional 577 shares in the last quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC boosted its position in shares of Diageo PLC by 404.4% in the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 1,039 shares of the company’s stock valued at $125,000 after buying an additional 833 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Tradewinds Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Diageo PLC by 8.5% in the first quarter. Tradewinds Capital Management LLC now owns 1,176 shares of the company’s stock valued at $136,000 after buying an additional 92 shares in the last quarter. 12.06% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Diageo PLC Company Profile

Diageo PLC is an alcoholic beverage company. The Company operates in various categories, including spirits and beer. Its geographic segments include North America; Europe, Russia and Turkey; Africa; Latin America and Caribbean, and Asia Pacific. Its principal products includes Scotch whisky, Gin, Vodka, Rum, Beer, Irish Cream Liqueur, Wine, Raki, Tequila, Canadian Whisky, American Whiskey, Progressive Adult Beverages, Cachaca, Brandy and Ready to Drink.

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