Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ:CENT)’s share price hit a new 52-week high during mid-day trading on Wednesday . The company traded as high as $39.50 and last traded at $39.50, with a volume of 16,052 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $39.10.

A number of equities analysts have issued reports on CENT shares. Sidoti raised shares of Central Garden & Pet from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, June 19th. CL King started 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. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Central Garden & Pet from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday. KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Central Garden & Pet in a research note on Wednesday, September 6th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Central Garden & Pet in a research note on Tuesday, June 20th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $39.00.

The stock has a 50-day moving average of $36.01 and a 200-day moving average of $34.39. The company has a market capitalization of $2.03 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.5676 and a beta of 0.11.

Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ:CENT) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The company reported $0.62 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.51 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $574.59 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $544.26 million. Central Garden & Pet had a net margin of 3.49% and a return on equity of 13.66%. The company’s revenue was up 11.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.48 EPS. Equities research analysts predict that Central Garden & Pet Company will post $1.52 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Central Garden & Pet news, Director John Ranelli sold 2,700 shares of Central Garden & Pet stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.09, for a total transaction of $92,043.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 110,339 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,761,456.51. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Brooks Pennington III sold 2,226 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $33.58, for a total value of $74,749.08. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 48,365 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,624,096.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 76,890 shares of company stock worth $2,612,545. 11.60% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

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

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About Central Garden & Pet

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.

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