Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Freshpet (NASDAQ:FRPT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Freshpet Inc. is a pet food company. The company manufactures and markets natural fresh foods, refrigerated meals, and treats for dogs and cats in the United States and Canada. Freshpet provides meats- based recipes, such as chicken, beef, lamb and salmon; fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, peas and leafy green vegetables, and high-fiber grains, such as brown rice, oats and barley. It sells its products under the Freshpet, Dognation, and Dog Joy brand names. Freshpet Inc. is headquartered in Secaucus, New Jersey. “

Several other equities analysts also recently weighed in on the company. ValuEngine upgraded Freshpet from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, November 1st. Robert W. Baird lifted their target price on Freshpet from $50.00 to $60.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research report on Thursday, October 31st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded Freshpet from a neutral rating to an overweight rating and lifted their target price for the company from $46.00 to $58.00 in a research report on Tuesday, October 22nd. Stifel Nicolaus set a $57.00 target price on Freshpet and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, September 13th. Finally, SunTrust Banks lowered their target price on Freshpet to $45.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, August 6th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $51.50.

FRPT stock traded down $0.51 on Wednesday, reaching $55.34. 292,300 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 340,322. The company has a market cap of $1.86 billion, a P/E ratio of -368.93 and a beta of 1.07. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.36, a current ratio of 1.36 and a quick ratio of 1.00. The firm has a fifty day simple moving average of $49.78 and a 200-day simple moving average of $46.77. Freshpet has a one year low of $28.44 and a one year high of $55.96.

Freshpet (NASDAQ:FRPT) last released its earnings results on Monday, November 4th. The company reported $0.08 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.10 by ($0.02). The company had revenue of $65.27 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $64.37 million. Freshpet had a negative net margin of 1.84% and a negative return on equity of 3.52%. The company’s revenue was up 28.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, sell-side analysts forecast that Freshpet will post 0.02 EPS for the current year.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in Freshpet by 19.4% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,288,433 shares of the company’s stock valued at $104,147,000 after acquiring an additional 372,151 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in Freshpet by 12.3% during the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,045,729 shares of the company’s stock valued at $93,101,000 after acquiring an additional 224,411 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised its holdings in Freshpet by 5.2% during the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 1,044,824 shares of the company’s stock valued at $47,477,000 after acquiring an additional 51,413 shares during the period. Invesco Ltd. raised its holdings in Freshpet by 254.8% during the second quarter. Invesco Ltd. now owns 887,629 shares of the company’s stock valued at $40,396,000 after acquiring an additional 637,442 shares during the period. Finally, Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust raised its holdings in Freshpet by 2.2% during the second quarter. Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust now owns 797,333 shares of the company’s stock valued at $36,287,000 after acquiring an additional 16,936 shares during the period. 95.74% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Freshpet Company Profile

Freshpet, Inc manufactures and markets natural fresh products, refrigerated meals, and treats for dogs and cats in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The company sells its products under the Freshpet brand; and Dognation and Dog Joy labels through various classes of retail, including grocery, mass, club, pet specialty, and natural, as well as online.

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