Dean Foods Company (DF) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Sell”

Dean Foods Company (NYSE:DF) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Dean Foods has lagged the sector year to date, due to its unimpressive earnings history. The company has been facing a tough retail scenario on account of fast-evolving consumer trends. Moreover, Dean Foods’ volumes have been pressurized owing to stiff competition and macro factors. These factors, along with high raw milk costs led the company to post its third straight negative earnings surprise in the last reported quarter. Unfortunately, management anticipates these obstacles to linger throughout 2017, as is reflected by its lowered earnings view. In fact, raw milk costs are likely to rise both sequentially and year over year in the third quarter. Nonetheless, Dean Foods remains on track to speed up its commercial and cost productivity efforts, to enhance volumes and mix. This is evident from the company’s plans of expanding cost productivity program, which should aid in achieving additional savings of $40–$50 million annually.”

DF has been the subject of several other reports. Jefferies Group LLC set a $20.00 target price on Dean Foods and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Saturday, July 29th. ValuEngine upgraded Dean Foods from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. Credit Suisse Group restated an “underperform” rating and set a $14.00 target price (down from $18.00) on shares of Dean Foods in a research report on Wednesday, July 12th. J P Morgan Chase & Co lowered Dean Foods from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their price objective for the company from $16.00 to $12.00 in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. Finally, Vertical Research lowered Dean Foods from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $14.67.

Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) traded up 1.290% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $9.815. 480,184 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. Dean Foods has a 52 week low of $9.61 and a 52 week high of $22.31. The stock has a market cap of $892.33 million, a P/E ratio of 16.090 and a beta of 0.51. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $10.63 and a 200-day moving average price of $14.75.

Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, August 8th. The company reported $0.21 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.30 by ($0.09). The company had revenue of $1.93 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.94 billion. Dean Foods had a return on equity of 16.63% and a net margin of 0.70%. Dean Foods’s quarterly revenue was up 4.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.38 earnings per share. On average, analysts forecast that Dean Foods will post $0.80 earnings per share for the current year.

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A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DF. BlackRock Inc. lifted its stake in Dean Foods by 12,150.7% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,254,859 shares of the company’s stock valued at $221,271,000 after acquiring an additional 11,162,988 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC lifted its stake in Dean Foods by 56.2% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 2,998,781 shares of the company’s stock valued at $50,979,000 after acquiring an additional 1,079,205 shares in the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its stake in Dean Foods by 51.2% in the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 2,599,750 shares of the company’s stock valued at $44,196,000 after acquiring an additional 879,800 shares in the last quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board lifted its stake in Dean Foods by 597.9% in the 3rd quarter. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board now owns 718,335 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,815,000 after acquiring an additional 615,400 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in Dean Foods by 4.9% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 11,508,667 shares of the company’s stock valued at $226,260,000 after acquiring an additional 536,720 shares in the last quarter.

Dean Foods Company Profile

Dean Foods Company is a food and beverage company. The Company processes and distributes fluid milk, and other dairy and dairy case products in the United States. It is engaged in manufacturing, marketing, selling and distributing a range of branded and private label dairy and dairy case products. It offers branded and private label dairy case products, including fluid milk, ice cream, cultured dairy products, creamers, ice cream mix and other dairy products to retailers, distributors, foodservice outlets, educational institutions and governmental entities across the United States.

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