Greif (GEF) Lifted to Buy at Bank of America

Bank of America upgraded shares of Greif (NYSE:GEF) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning, MarketBeat.com reports. The firm currently has $70.00 price target on the industrial products company’s stock. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call.

A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on the company. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a hold rating and set a $57.00 price objective on shares of Greif in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Greif from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Thursday, November 30th. KeyCorp reiterated a sell rating on shares of Greif in a report on Friday, November 10th. Robert W. Baird reiterated a buy rating and set a $66.00 price objective on shares of Greif in a report on Friday, November 10th. Finally, DA Davidson upgraded Greif from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $74.00 price objective for the company in a report on Thursday, December 7th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $64.00.

Shares of Greif (NYSE:GEF) opened at $61.66 on Tuesday. Greif has a fifty-two week low of $50.70 and a fifty-two week high of $65.60. The stock has a market capitalization of $2,975.77, a PE ratio of 21.08, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.11 and a beta of 1.30. The company has a quick ratio of 1.04, a current ratio of 1.45 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.90.

Greif (NYSE:GEF) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, December 6th. The industrial products company reported $0.98 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.89 by $0.09. Greif had a return on equity of 17.06% and a net margin of 3.26%. The company had revenue of $968.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $931.96 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.65 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.6% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that Greif will post 3.4 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, January 1st. Investors of record on Monday, December 18th were issued a dividend of $0.42 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, December 15th. This represents a $1.68 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.72%. Greif’s payout ratio is presently 83.17%.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Amalgamated Bank bought a new position in shares of Greif during the second quarter worth about $208,000. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. bought a new position in shares of Greif during the third quarter worth about $216,000. Quantbot Technologies LP grew its stake in Greif by 3,048.2% in the third quarter. Quantbot Technologies LP now owns 4,376 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $256,000 after purchasing an additional 4,237 shares in the last quarter. Nine Chapters Capital Management LLC grew its stake in Greif by 83.3% in the third quarter. Nine Chapters Capital Management LLC now owns 8,800 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $515,000 after purchasing an additional 4,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Arizona State Retirement System grew its stake in Greif by 1.9% in the second quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 10,900 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $608,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 48.54% of the company’s stock.

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Greif Company Profile

Greif, Inc is a producer of industrial packaging products and services. The Company’s segments are Rigid Industrial Packaging & Services; Paper Packaging & Services; Flexible Products & Services, and Land Management. The Rigid Industrial Packaging & Services segment is engaged in the production and sale of rigid industrial packaging products, and services, such as container life cycle management, filling, logistics, warehousing and other packaging services.

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