Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Smart (NYSE:SFS) to Buy

Smart (NYSE:SFS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, August 1st. The brokerage currently has a $9.75 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target points to a potential upside of 29.14% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Smart & Final Stores, Inc. is a value-oriented food and everyday staples retailer that serves household and business customers. It operates grocery and foodservice stores under the Smart & Final, Smart & Final Extra! and Cash & Carry Smart Foodservice banners in California, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Nevada, Idaho. The Company’s stores offer various products, including basic grocery, produce, dairy, meat, beverage, foodservice, packaging, and janitorial items. Smart & Final Stores, Inc. is headquartered in Los Angeles. “

A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on SFS. Deutsche Bank AG restated a “buy” rating and issued a $12.00 target price (down previously from $14.00) on shares of Smart in a report on Wednesday, July 26th. Loop Capital assumed coverage on Smart in a report on Monday, May 15th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $17.00 target price on the stock. Royal Bank Of Canada restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $19.00 target price on shares of Smart in a report on Thursday, May 4th. BidaskClub lowered Smart from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Thursday, July 13th. Finally, TheStreet lowered Smart from a “c-” rating to a “d+” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 18th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $18.83.

Smart (NYSE:SFS) opened at 7.55 on Tuesday. Smart has a 52-week low of $7.00 and a 52-week high of $15.45. The firm has a market cap of $558.85 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 62.92 and a beta of 0.28. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $8.08 and its 200 day moving average price is $11.40.

Smart (NYSE:SFS) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, July 25th. The company reported $0.12 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.16 by $0.04. Smart had a net margin of 0.21% and a return on equity of 4.14%. The company had revenue of $1.08 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.08 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.20 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts anticipate that Smart will post $0.49 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In other Smart news, SVP Michael A. Mortensen sold 26,980 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $13.42, for a total value of $362,071.60. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 48,191 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $646,723.22. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, EVP Scott R. Drew sold 21,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, June 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $13.02, for a total value of $273,420.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 64,648 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $841,716.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 101,940 shares of company stock worth $1,097,389 over the last quarter. 8.47% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Wellington Management Group LLP increased its stake in Smart by 50.5% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 7,771,127 shares of the company’s stock worth $94,031,000 after buying an additional 2,608,286 shares in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in Smart by 8.1% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 3,229,048 shares of the company’s stock worth $29,384,000 after buying an additional 242,135 shares in the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. boosted its position in shares of Smart by 10.3% in the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 3,026,922 shares of the company’s stock valued at $27,545,000 after buying an additional 282,997 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Smart by 4.7% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 2,386,074 shares of the company’s stock valued at $21,714,000 after buying an additional 107,655 shares during the period. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in shares of Smart by 50.7% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,121,872 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,209,000 after buying an additional 377,326 shares during the period.

About Smart

Smart & Final Stores, Inc is a food retailer. The Company is engaged in the business of selling fresh perishables and everyday grocery items, together with foodservice, packaging and janitorial products. The Company operates through two segments: Smart & Final, and Cash and Carry. The Smart & Final segment focuses on both household and business customers.

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