Zoetis Inc. (ZTS) Lowered to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Zoetis Inc. (NYSE:ZTS) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Growth at Zoetis is being driven by industry-leading dermatology portfolio consisting of Apoquel and Cytopoint and new oral parasiticide Simparica. Sales of companion animal products are being further boosted by further penetration of new products in key countries outside of the U.S. such as Japan, Brazil, and Canada while growth in livestock portfolio was balanced across the U.S. and international business segments. However, swine performance is being impacted by competition from Fostera. The acquisition of Nexvet Biopharma will further strengthen Zoetis’ chronic pain management franchise. Shares of Zoetis have outperformed the industry in 2017 in the last six months. However, Zoetis faces stiff competition from companies like Merck Animal Health (the animal health division of Merck), Elanco.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently weighed in on ZTS. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Zoetis from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. Stifel Nicolaus restated a buy rating and set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Zoetis in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. Cantor Fitzgerald restated a buy rating and set a $75.00 price objective on shares of Zoetis in a research note on Tuesday, October 24th. BMO Capital Markets set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Zoetis and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Finally, Cowen and Company set a $70.00 price objective on shares of Zoetis and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Monday, July 17th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the stock. Zoetis has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $65.76.

Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 2nd. The company reported $0.65 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.62 by $0.03. Zoetis had a net margin of 17.50% and a return on equity of 62.49%. The business had revenue of $1.35 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.32 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.52 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 8.5% on a year-over-year basis.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 1st. Investors of record on Thursday, November 9th will be issued a dividend of $0.105 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 8th. This represents a $0.42 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.66%. Zoetis’s payout ratio is presently 23.73%.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. grew its holdings in shares of Zoetis by 16.8% during the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 1,598 shares of the company’s stock worth $100,000 after buying an additional 230 shares in the last quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. grew its stake in Zoetis by 16.1% in the second quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. now owns 1,878 shares of the company’s stock valued at $117,000 after purchasing an additional 260 shares in the last quarter. Almanack Investment Partners LLC. bought a new position in Zoetis in the second quarter valued at approximately $119,000. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd bought a new position in Zoetis in the first quarter valued at approximately $111,000. Finally, Peddock Capital Advisors LLC bought a new position in Zoetis in the second quarter valued at approximately $140,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 93.04% of the company’s stock.

Zoetis Company Profile

Zoetis Inc is engaged in the discovery, development, manufacture and commercialization of animal health medicines and vaccines, with a focus on both livestock and companion animals. The Company has a business, commercializing products across eight core species: cattle, swine, poultry, sheep and fish (collectively, livestock) and dogs, cats and horses (collectively, companion animals), and within five product categories: anti-infectives, vaccines, parasiticides, medicated feed additives and other pharmaceuticals.

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