Avon Products, Inc. (AVP) Rating Lowered to Strong Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE:AVP) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Avon is lately battling waning top and bottom lines due to adverse currency fluctuations as well as a highly leveraged balance sheet. This was well evident from the company’s dismal third-quarter 2016 performance. Also, the company has a negative record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. However, Avon is outperforming its broader industry based on the progress on its Transformation Plan, which is on track to deliver $350 million in cost savings over three years. Further, this has aided Avon in significantly improving its capital structure and strengthening its balance sheet with lesser debt levels. Additionally, Avon remains on track to reach its long-term Active Representatives growth target of 1–2%. All these factors advocate strength in the company's future results. Estimates have been stable ahead of the company’s third-quarter earnings release. However, stiff competition remains a threat for the company.”

Several other brokerages also recently commented on AVP. B. Riley reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $7.00 price objective on shares of Avon Products in a research note on Monday, November 7th. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Avon Products in a research note on Monday, December 5th. Finally, RBC Capital Markets set a $4.00 price objective on shares of Avon Products and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 3rd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $7.44.

Analyst Recommendations for Avon Products (NYSE:AVP)

Shares of Avon Products (NYSE:AVP) traded down 0.19% during trading on Monday, hitting $5.31. 784,774 shares of the stock were exchanged. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $5.39 and its 200-day moving average price is $5.35. Avon Products has a 52 week low of $2.21 and a 52 week high of $6.96. The stock’s market cap is $2.32 billion.

Avon Products (NYSE:AVP) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 3rd. The company reported $0.02 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.03 by $0.01. The company earned $1.41 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.42 billion. Avon Products had a negative net margin of 7.59% and a negative return on equity of 2.30%. Avon Products’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned ($0.11) EPS. On average, analysts predict that Avon Products will post $0.13 EPS for the current year.

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In other Avon Products news, Director Jose Armario acquired 18,215 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 21st. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $5.50 per share, with a total value of $100,182.50. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now owns 18,215 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $100,182.50. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Fernando Acosta sold 85,198 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $5.06, for a total transaction of $431,101.88. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 263,650 shares in the company, valued at $1,334,069. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.80% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in shares of Avon Products by 6.2% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 32,766,163 shares of the company’s stock valued at $123,855,000 after buying an additional 1,905,824 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors raised its stake in shares of Avon Products by 6.1% in the third quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 23,303,509 shares of the company’s stock valued at $131,898,000 after buying an additional 1,343,531 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its stake in shares of Avon Products by 22.7% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 14,457,512 shares of the company’s stock valued at $54,646,000 after buying an additional 2,671,758 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. raised its stake in shares of Avon Products by 2.0% in the third quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 13,855,756 shares of the company’s stock valued at $78,424,000 after buying an additional 276,430 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in shares of Avon Products by 120.4% in the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 9,879,631 shares of the company’s stock valued at $55,918,000 after buying an additional 5,397,542 shares in the last quarter. 87.90% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Avon Products Company Profile

Avon Products, Inc is a manufacturer and marketer of beauty and related products. The Company’s product categories are Beauty, and Fashion and Home. Beauty consists of skincare (which includes personal care), fragrance and color (cosmetics). Fashion and Home consists of fashion jewelry, watches, apparel, footwear, accessories, gift and decorative products, housewares, entertainment and leisure products, children’s products and nutritional products.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:AVP

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