Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ:CENT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Central Garden & Pet outpaced the industry in the past one year, primarily owing to twelve consecutive quarters of earnings beat. Moreover, the company’s top-line has also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the third straight quarter, when it posted third-quarter fiscal 2017 results. We note that both the top and bottom lines grew 11.7% and 21.6%, respectively. Robust financial numbers prompted management to provide an upbeat adjusted earnings per share projection for the fiscal year. Organic growth, value accretive acquisitions and divestment of non-strategic assets have been aiding Central Garden & Pet’s performance. Moreover, the company is revamping both its Pet and Garden segments, and intends to possess a balanced approach that encompasses improvement in revenues and profits through operational efficiency as well as cost reduction. However, stiff competition and seasonality of garden business remains a concern.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on CENT. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Central Garden & Pet from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, July 24th. CL King assumed coverage on shares of Central Garden & Pet in a research report on Friday, July 7th. They set a “buy” rating and a $38.00 target price for the company. KeyCorp restated a “hold” rating on shares of Central Garden & Pet in a report on Wednesday, September 6th. Sidoti upgraded shares of Central Garden & Pet from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, June 19th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Central Garden & Pet in a research report on Tuesday, June 20th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Central Garden & Pet has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $39.00.

Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ:CENT) remained flat at $38.93 during trading on Tuesday. The stock had a trading volume of 21,812 shares. The company has a market cap of $2.02 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.36 and a beta of 0.10. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $35.90 and its 200-day moving average price is $34.38. Central Garden & Pet has a one year low of $22.97 and a one year high of $39.33.

Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ:CENT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The company reported $0.62 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.11. Central Garden & Pet had a net margin of 3.49% and a return on equity of 13.66%. The business had revenue of $574.59 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $544.26 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.48 EPS. Central Garden & Pet’s quarterly revenue was up 11.7% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Central Garden & Pet will post $1.51 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other news, Director John Ranelli sold 11,800 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.41, for a total value of $406,038.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 110,668 shares in the company, valued at $3,808,085.88. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Brooks Pennington III sold 25,933 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.16, for a total transaction of $885,871.28. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 48,365 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,652,148.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 76,890 shares of company stock worth $2,612,545. Company insiders own 11.60% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA grew its position in Central Garden & Pet by 20.7% in the 2nd quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 3,136 shares of the company’s stock worth $100,000 after purchasing an additional 537 shares in the last quarter. Sei Investments Co. lifted its position in shares of Central Garden & Pet by 8.9% during the 2nd quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 4,633 shares of the company’s stock worth $148,000 after buying an additional 380 shares in the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Central Garden & Pet by 65.7% during the 1st quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 4,140 shares of the company’s stock worth $153,000 after buying an additional 1,641 shares in the last quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans bought a new position in shares of Central Garden & Pet during the 1st quarter worth approximately $212,000. Finally, Alliancebernstein L.P. bought a new position in shares of Central Garden & Pet during the 1st quarter worth approximately $222,000. 20.19% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Central Garden & Pet Company Profile

Central Garden & Pet Company is a marketer and producer of branded products and distributor of third party products in the pet and lawn and garden supplies industries in the United States. The Company operates in two segments: Pet segment and the Garden segment. It is a marketer and producer of pet supplies in the United States.

Analyst Recommendations for Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ:CENT)

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