Graphic Packaging (GPK) Raised to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Graphic Packaging (NYSE:GPK) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $18.00 price target on the industrial products company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “GRAPHIC PACKAGING CORPORATION, headquartered in Marietta, Georgia, is a leading provider of paperboard packaging solutions for a wide variety of products to food, beverage and other consumer products companies. Graphic Packaging’s customers include some of the most widely recognized companies in the world. “

Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Royal Bank of Canada restated a buy rating and issued a $15.00 target price on shares of Graphic Packaging in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. KeyCorp restated a hold rating on shares of Graphic Packaging in a research note on Tuesday, October 10th. BMO Capital Markets raised their target price on shares of Graphic Packaging from $15.50 to $17.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Robert W. Baird raised their target price on shares of Graphic Packaging from $16.00 to $18.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Finally, Stephens assumed coverage on shares of Graphic Packaging in a report on Tuesday, October 24th. They issued an overweight rating and a $17.00 price target for the company. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $16.48.

Graphic Packaging (NYSE:GPK) traded down $0.08 during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $16.60. 1,893,463 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 3,086,656. Graphic Packaging has a one year low of $12.00 and a one year high of $16.73. The firm has a market cap of $5,170.00, a PE ratio of 32.55, a PEG ratio of 3.63 and a beta of 1.19. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.96, a current ratio of 1.50 and a quick ratio of 0.74.

Graphic Packaging (NYSE:GPK) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The industrial products company reported $0.18 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.18. Graphic Packaging had a net margin of 3.70% and a return on equity of 17.27%. The company had revenue of $1.14 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.11 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.20 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts forecast that Graphic Packaging will post 0.65 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 5th. Stockholders of record on Friday, December 15th were issued a $0.075 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, December 14th. This represents a $0.30 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.81%. Graphic Packaging’s dividend payout ratio is presently 58.82%.

In other news, VP Deborah R. Frank sold 38,266 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $15.51, for a total value of $593,505.66. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 77,139 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,196,425.89. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Company insiders own 1.02% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. National Investment Services Inc. WI increased its holdings in Graphic Packaging by 95.8% during the 4th quarter. National Investment Services Inc. WI now owns 47,309 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $731,000 after acquiring an additional 23,144 shares in the last quarter. Aurora Investment Counsel purchased a new position in Graphic Packaging during the 4th quarter valued at about $2,407,000. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its holdings in Graphic Packaging by 3.3% during the 3rd quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 690,502 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $9,633,000 after acquiring an additional 22,202 shares in the last quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC increased its holdings in Graphic Packaging by 304.3% during the 3rd quarter. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC now owns 52,812 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $737,000 after acquiring an additional 39,751 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its holdings in Graphic Packaging by 6.5% during the 3rd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 9,022,954 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $125,871,000 after acquiring an additional 548,688 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 96.88% of the company’s stock.

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About Graphic Packaging

Graphic Packaging Holding Company is a provider of paper-based packaging solutions for a range of products to food, beverage and other consumer product companies. The Company’s segments include Paperboard Mills, Americas Paperboard Packaging, Europe Paperboard Packaging, and Corporate and Other. The Paperboard Mills segment includes the Company’s North American paperboard mills, which produce primarily coated unbleached kraft and coated recycled board.

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