Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ:CENT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday.

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.”

CENT has been the topic of a number of other research reports. BidaskClub lowered shares of Central Garden & Pet from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Friday, August 18th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. restated a “hold” rating on shares of Central Garden & Pet in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. KeyCorp restated a “hold” rating on shares of Central Garden & Pet in a research report on Monday, October 16th. Finally, Sidoti lowered shares of Central Garden & Pet from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, October 16th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $39.00.

Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ:CENT) traded down $0.05 during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $35.65. 34,900 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 102,367. Central Garden & Pet has a fifty-two week low of $27.70 and a fifty-two week high of $40.48. The company has a quick ratio of 1.63, a current ratio of 3.38 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69. The firm has a market capitalization of $1,848.33, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.18, a PEG ratio of 2.15 and a beta of 0.03.

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In other Central Garden & Pet news, General Counsel George A. Yuhas sold 4,364 shares of Central Garden & Pet stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $33.37, for a total value of $145,626.68. Following the transaction, the general counsel now owns 50,259 shares in the company, valued at $1,677,142.83. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Alfred A. Piergallini sold 6,390 shares of Central Garden & Pet stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $32.20, for a total transaction of $205,758.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 60,430 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,945,846. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 21,285 shares of company stock worth $709,917. 11.60% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its position in Central Garden & Pet by 3.8% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,372,123 shares of the company’s stock worth $43,620,000 after purchasing an additional 49,679 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its position in Central Garden & Pet by 2.6% during the 1st quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,019,397 shares of the company’s stock worth $37,789,000 after purchasing an additional 26,199 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC grew its position in Central Garden & Pet by 34.8% during the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 641,776 shares of the company’s stock worth $20,402,000 after purchasing an additional 165,676 shares in the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. grew its position in Central Garden & Pet by 67.2% during the 3rd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 300,759 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,681,000 after purchasing an additional 120,898 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Teachers Advisors LLC grew its position in Central Garden & Pet by 13.0% during the 2nd quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 275,869 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,770,000 after purchasing an additional 31,819 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 20.62% of the company’s stock.

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.

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

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