Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Pinnacle Foods, Inc. (PF) to Hold

Pinnacle Foods, Inc. (NYSE:PF) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Pinnacle Foods’ focus on achieving growth via buyouts has been driving results for quite some time. Also, the company, which has surpassed the industry over a year, has been gaining from productivity initiatives. These factors helped the company post solid third-quarter 2017 results even amid hurdles related to Aunt Jemima’s exit; shutdown of Boulder UK operations, SKU rationalization program and impacts from hurricanes. Both earnings and sales topped estimates and bottom line retained its robust year-over-year growth trend. However, the aforementioned obstacles dented the top line, and the Specialty Foods unit continued to be challenged in the third quarter. Also, high marketing expenses and input cost inflation remain concerns. Nonetheless, management remains impressed with the company’s strong third-quarter in-market performance. Despite the current barriers, management expects earnings to jump 19% in 2017.”

PF has been the topic of several other research reports. UBS AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $65.00 price target on shares of Pinnacle Foods in a report on Monday, August 28th. Credit Suisse Group reduced their price objective on Pinnacle Foods from $64.00 to $60.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Buckingham Research reduced their price objective on Pinnacle Foods from $68.00 to $62.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, October 27th. BidaskClub upgraded Pinnacle Foods from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, August 18th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $67.00 price objective (up from $66.00) on shares of Pinnacle Foods in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the stock. Pinnacle Foods presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $64.25.

Pinnacle Foods (NYSE:PF) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $0.58 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.58. Pinnacle Foods had a return on equity of 14.63% and a net margin of 5.65%. The firm had revenue of $749.80 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $753.10 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.53 EPS. The company’s revenue was down 1.2% compared to the same quarter last year.

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In related news, EVP Mark L. Schiller sold 17,038 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.61, for a total transaction of $1,032,673.18. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 74,832 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,535,567.52. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, EVP Christopher J. Boever sold 26,682 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $59.02, for a total value of $1,574,771.64. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 66,296 shares in the company, valued at $3,912,789.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 76,950 shares of company stock worth $4,588,273. 1.34% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Alps Advisors Inc. grew its position in Pinnacle Foods by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 8,171 shares of the company’s stock worth $485,000 after acquiring an additional 21 shares during the last quarter. World Asset Management Inc lifted its holdings in Pinnacle Foods by 0.9% in the 2nd quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 4,289 shares of the company’s stock worth $255,000 after buying an additional 39 shares during the period. Hanseatic Management Services Inc. lifted its holdings in Pinnacle Foods by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Hanseatic Management Services Inc. now owns 18,710 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,111,000 after buying an additional 47 shares during the period. Teacher Retirement System of Texas lifted its holdings in Pinnacle Foods by 1.4% in the 2nd quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 9,365 shares of the company’s stock worth $556,000 after buying an additional 132 shares during the period. Finally, Stifel Financial Corp lifted its holdings in Pinnacle Foods by 0.7% in the 2nd quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 22,881 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,360,000 after buying an additional 155 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 95.55% of the company’s stock.

Pinnacle Foods Company Profile

Pinnacle Foods Inc is a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of branded food products in North America. The Company operates through four segments: Frozen segment, the Grocery segment, the Boulder segment and the Specialty segment. Its products are sold through supermarkets, grocery wholesalers and distributors, mass merchandisers, super centers, convenience stores, dollar stores, drug stores and warehouse clubs in the United States and Canada, as well as in military channels and foodservice locations.

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