Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of SunOpta (NASDAQ:STKL) (TSE:SOY) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “SunOpta Inc. is an operator of high-growth ethical businesses, focusing on integrated business models in the natural and organic food, supplements and health and beauty markets. The Company has three business units: the SunOpta Food Group, which specializes in sourcing, processing and distribution of natural and organic food products integrated from seed through packaged products; the Opta Minerals Group, a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial materials; and the SunOpta BioProcess Group which engineers and markets proprietary steam explosion technology systems for the pulp, bio-fuel and food processing industries. Each of these business units has proprietary products and services that give it a solid competitive advantage in its sector. “

STKL has been the subject of a number of other reports. ValuEngine raised SunOpta from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, August 2nd. BidaskClub downgraded SunOpta from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Monday, June 24th. Finally, Citigroup set a $3.00 price target on SunOpta and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Monday, August 12th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $3.00.

STKL opened at $2.36 on Wednesday. SunOpta has a fifty-two week low of $1.98 and a fifty-two week high of $8.10. The business has a 50-day moving average of $2.76 and a 200-day moving average of $3.46. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.94, a current ratio of 1.23 and a quick ratio of 0.37. The company has a market capitalization of $205.34 million, a PE ratio of -8.43 and a beta of 0.72.

SunOpta (NASDAQ:STKL) (TSE:SOY) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 7th. The company reported ($0.10) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.09) by ($0.01). SunOpta had a negative return on equity of 14.49% and a negative net margin of 6.93%. The firm had revenue of $293.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $302.40 million. On average, equities research analysts expect that SunOpta will post -0.39 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO Joseph Ennen acquired 50,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 30th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $3.98 per share, with a total value of $199,000.00. Following the purchase, the chief executive officer now owns 219,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $871,620. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Geradus Joseph Maria Versteegh acquired 100,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 15th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $2.15 per share, for a total transaction of $215,000.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the senior vice president now directly owns 185,889 shares in the company, valued at approximately $399,661.35. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders purchased a total of 344,670 shares of company stock worth $838,810 over the last three months. 1.75% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in SunOpta by 11.5% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 230,309 shares of the company’s stock valued at $891,000 after purchasing an additional 23,666 shares during the last quarter. Millennium Management LLC acquired a new position in SunOpta in the 4th quarter valued at about $117,000. Boyar Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in SunOpta by 73.5% in the 1st quarter. Boyar Asset Management Inc. now owns 57,510 shares of the company’s stock valued at $199,000 after purchasing an additional 24,372 shares during the last quarter. Hollencrest Capital Management acquired a new position in SunOpta in the 1st quarter valued at about $87,000. Finally, Ironwood Investment Management LLC raised its stake in SunOpta by 6.1% in the 1st quarter. Ironwood Investment Management LLC now owns 124,640 shares of the company’s stock valued at $431,000 after purchasing an additional 7,151 shares during the last quarter. 76.89% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

SunOpta Company Profile

SunOpta Inc sources non-genetically modified (non-GMO) and organic ingredients; and manufactures food and beverage products in the United States, Canada, Europe, and internationally. The company operates through Global Ingredients and Consumer Products segments. The Global Ingredients segment offers organic fruit- and vegetable-based raw materials and ingredients, sweeteners, cocoa, coffees, ancient grains, nuts, seeds and pulses, and other organic food products; identity preserved, non-GMO, and organic seeds and grains, including soy, corn, and sunflower; and seed and grain-based animal feed, and pet food products.

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