Graphic Packaging (NYSE:GPK) Shares Gap Up to $21.45

Graphic Packaging Holding (NYSE:GPKGet Rating) shares gapped up prior to trading on Friday . The stock had previously closed at $21.45, but opened at $22.36. Graphic Packaging shares last traded at $22.50, with a volume of 41,665 shares changing hands.

A number of research firms have recently issued reports on GPK. Robert W. Baird increased their target price on Graphic Packaging from $24.00 to $30.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, February 18th. BMO Capital Markets upgraded Graphic Packaging from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and increased their target price for the company from $20.00 to $25.00 in a report on Friday. Mizuho increased their price objective on Graphic Packaging from $25.00 to $27.00 in a report on Friday, February 18th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Graphic Packaging from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $25.00 price objective for the company in a report on Friday, April 29th. Finally, Exane BNP Paribas upgraded Graphic Packaging from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $26.00 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday, May 10th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, twelve have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company. According to MarketBeat.com, the company presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $24.62.

The company has a quick ratio of 0.59, a current ratio of 1.37 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.89. The stock has a market cap of $6.85 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.24, a PEG ratio of 0.38 and a beta of 0.95. The business has a 50-day simple moving average of $20.90 and a 200-day simple moving average of $20.09.

Graphic Packaging (NYSE:GPKGet Rating) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, April 26th. The industrial products company reported $0.48 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.38 by $0.10. Graphic Packaging had a return on equity of 22.68% and a net margin of 3.32%. The company had revenue of $2.25 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.19 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.23 earnings per share. Graphic Packaging’s revenue for the quarter was up 36.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Graphic Packaging Holding will post 2.13 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, July 5th. Investors of record on Wednesday, June 15th will be given a $0.075 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, June 14th. This represents a $0.30 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.35%. Graphic Packaging’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 35.29%.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Sawtooth Solutions LLC bought a new position in Graphic Packaging in the first quarter worth $287,000. Walleye Capital LLC bought a new position in Graphic Packaging in the first quarter worth $234,000. Weiss Multi Strategy Advisers LLC bought a new position in Graphic Packaging in the first quarter worth $3,580,000. Advisors Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in Graphic Packaging by 7.4% during the first quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 113,608 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $2,277,000 after acquiring an additional 7,861 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mirabella Financial Services LLP acquired a new position in Graphic Packaging during the first quarter worth $351,000. 94.71% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Graphic Packaging (NYSE:GPK)

Graphic Packaging Holding Company, together with its subsidiaries, provides fiber-based packaging solutions to food, beverage, foodservice, and other consumer products companies. It operates through three segments: Paperboard Mills, Americas Paperboard Packaging, and Europe Paperboard Packaging. The company offers coated unbleached kraft (CUK), coated recycled paperboard (CRB), and solid bleached sulfate paperboard (SBS) to various paperboard packaging converters and brokers; and paperboard packaging products, such as folding cartons, cups, lids, and food containers primarily to consumer packaged goods, quick-service restaurants, and foodservice companies; and barrier packaging products that protect against moisture, hot and cold temperature, grease, oil, oxygen, sunlight, insects, and other potential product-damaging factors.

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