Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Dean Foods is witnessing increased optimism on the smart volume initiative, which is expected to aid results. This initiative is aimed at improving top-line, building margins and creating operating efficiencies. In third-quarter 2017, the company’s results gained from overall solid sales execution and stringent progress on its smart volumes initiative, which helped in wining some new business for 2018. On the flip side, the company has been witnessing a dismal sales trend evident from the second straight quarter miss in third-quarter due to soft volumes, higher raw milk costs, and loss of share in U.S. fluid milk volumes. This led Dean Foods to underperform the sector in the past month. Nevertheless, the company expects to bring more smart volumes into its system to aid top line growth. The company’s initiatives to strengthen brands and diversify portfolio also bode well.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Vertical Group raised Dean Foods from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Monday, January 8th. Jefferies Group set a $16.00 target price on Dean Foods and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Sunday, October 29th. Credit Suisse Group dropped their target price on Dean Foods from $10.00 to $8.50 and set an underperform rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, November 8th. Morgan Stanley dropped their target price on Dean Foods from $10.00 to $9.00 and set an overweight rating for the company in a report on Wednesday, November 8th. Finally, ValuEngine cut Dean Foods from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Dean Foods presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $13.05.

Shares of Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) opened at $9.40 on Tuesday. Dean Foods has a 52 week low of $9.01 and a 52 week high of $20.66. The firm has a market capitalization of $854.25, a P/E ratio of 20.43, a P/E/G ratio of 0.83 and a beta of 0.39. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.33, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a current ratio of 1.28.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DF. Flinton Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in Dean Foods by 60.6% during the 2nd quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 6,448 shares of the company’s stock valued at $110,000 after purchasing an additional 2,432 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. increased its holdings in Dean Foods by 40.7% during the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 7,857 shares of the company’s stock valued at $133,000 after purchasing an additional 2,271 shares in the last quarter. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Dean Foods during the 3rd quarter valued at $141,000. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. acquired a new stake in Dean Foods during the 3rd quarter valued at $164,000. Finally, Saratoga Research & Investment Management acquired a new stake in Dean Foods during the 3rd quarter valued at $168,000. 95.08% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Dean Foods

Dean Foods Company is a food and beverage company. The Company processes and distributes fluid milk, and other dairy and dairy case products in the United States. It is engaged in manufacturing, marketing, selling and distributing a range of branded and private label dairy and dairy case products. It offers branded and private label dairy case products, including fluid milk, ice cream, cultured dairy products, creamers, ice cream mix and other dairy products to retailers, distributors, foodservice outlets, educational institutions and governmental entities across the United States.

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