Sonoco Products Company (NYSE:SON) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “For 2017, Sonoco projects earnings per share in the range of $2.73–$2.80. The mid-point of the guidance reflects a year-over-year growth of 1.7%. The company maintains a cautious outlook regarding the second half of 2017 as consumer preferences for packaged is being impacted by changing taste for more fresh and natural products. Also Old Corrugated Cardboard (OCC) prices and resin prices are escalating.  If Sonoco’s price increases are not effective, it will hurt the margins. Some of its consumer-product customers seem to be struggling to grow packaged food volumes in certain served markets. The slowdown in manufacturing in the United States and emerging markets, along with headwinds from a strong dollar, is expected to continue impacting its industrial businesses. In the last one year, Sonoco has underperformed the industry it belongs to. Its estimates have gone down lately.”

Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. BidaskClub upgraded Sonoco Products from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 14th. Robert W. Baird upgraded Sonoco Products from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $55.00 to $60.00 in a research note on Wednesday, July 19th. Barclays PLC restated an “underweight” rating and set a $48.00 price target (up previously from $45.00) on shares of Sonoco Products in a research note on Monday, July 24th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and set a $48.00 price target on shares of Sonoco Products in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, Vertical Research downgraded Sonoco Products from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, July 21st. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $52.57.

Sonoco Products (NYSE SON) traded down 1.29% during trading on Tuesday, reaching $48.36. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 187,201 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $4.81 billion, a PE ratio of 18.36 and a beta of 1.12. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $48.46 and a 200 day moving average price of $50.91. Sonoco Products has a 1-year low of $47.10 and a 1-year high of $55.58.

Sonoco Products (NYSE:SON) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 20th. The industrial products company reported $0.71 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.71. The firm had revenue of $1.24 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.22 billion. Sonoco Products had a return on equity of 16.64% and a net margin of 5.61%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 2.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.73 EPS. Analysts anticipate that Sonoco Products will post $2.75 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in SON. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in shares of Sonoco Products by 5,164.3% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,100,154 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $587,419,000 after purchasing an additional 10,889,296 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in shares of Sonoco Products by 15.5% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 9,516,077 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $503,591,000 after purchasing an additional 1,280,470 shares during the last quarter. Marshall Wace North America L.P. purchased a new position in shares of Sonoco Products in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $42,170,000. Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its stake in shares of Sonoco Products by 455.3% in the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 806,800 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $41,486,000 after purchasing an additional 661,500 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC purchased a new position in shares of Sonoco Products in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $33,327,000. Institutional investors own 72.45% of the company’s stock.

About Sonoco Products

Sonoco Products Company is engaged in manufacturing of industrial and consumer packaging products, and providing packaging services. The Company operates in four segments: Consumer Packaging, Paper and Industrial Converted Products, Display and Packaging, and Protective Solutions. Its Consumer Packaging segment’s products and services include round composite cans, aluminum, steel and peelable membrane easy-open closures for composite and metal cans; plastic bottles, cups and trays, and printed flexible packaging and global brand management.

Analyst Recommendations for Sonoco Products (NYSE:SON)

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