Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of SunOpta, Inc. (NASDAQ:STKL) (TSE:SOY) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Wednesday morning. The brokerage currently has $10.00 price objective on the stock.
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. “
Separately, BidaskClub lowered SunOpta from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Thursday, August 24th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. SunOpta presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $9.10.
SunOpta (NASDAQ:STKL) (TSE:SOY) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, August 9th. The company reported ($0.01) earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.01 by ($0.02). SunOpta had a negative return on equity of 0.70% and a negative net margin of 3.70%. The business had revenue of $336.45 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $341.18 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.05 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 3.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that SunOpta will post $0.02 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
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In related news, CFO Robert Mckeracher sold 36,533 shares of SunOpta stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $8.41, for a total value of $307,242.53. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CAO John Ruelle sold 38,361 shares of SunOpta stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $8.75, for a total value of $335,658.75. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief accounting officer now owns 38,361 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $335,658.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.88% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Engaged Capital LLC grew its stake in SunOpta by 3.7% in the first quarter. Engaged Capital LLC now owns 6,756,907 shares of the company’s stock worth $46,961,000 after purchasing an additional 241,823 shares in the last quarter. Eventide Asset Management LLC grew its stake in SunOpta by 1.4% in the first quarter. Eventide Asset Management LLC now owns 3,887,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $27,015,000 after purchasing an additional 54,400 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC grew its stake in SunOpta by 7.3% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 3,808,406 shares of the company’s stock worth $38,845,000 after purchasing an additional 258,960 shares in the last quarter. Nicholas Investment Partners LP grew its stake in SunOpta by 162.7% in the second quarter. Nicholas Investment Partners LP now owns 703,998 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,182,000 after purchasing an additional 436,049 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co. LLC acquired a new position in SunOpta in the second quarter worth about $6,028,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 81.94% of the company’s stock.
Sunopta Inc is a Canada-based company, which operates businesses focused on a healthy products portfolio. It operates through the following segments: Global Ingredients and Consumer Products. The Global Ingredients segment aggregates its North American and international raw material sourcing and supply operating segments focused on the procurement, processing and sale of specialty and organic grains, seeds, fruits, grain- and cocoa-based ingredients, and other commodities.
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