Sonoco Products (SON) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Sonoco Products (NYSE:SON) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Friday. The brokerage currently has $61.00 price target on the industrial products company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “For 2017, Sonoco's earnings per share guidance range is at $2.75-$2.81, the mid-point of which reflects year-over-year growth of 2.2%. Sonoco estimates that its adjusted earnings per share for 2018 will be in the range of $3.00-$3.10. The company remains committed to executing its ‘Grow and Optimize’ strategy, which is focused on targeted growth of Consumer Packaging and Protective Solutions businesses along with optimizing Industrial-focused businesses. The acquisitions of Clear Lam Packaging and Peninsula Packaging significantly expand Sonoco’s flexible packaging and thermoforming plastics capabilities. Additionally, it remains focused on accelerating organic growth by introducing new commercial products, improving manufacturing productivity and gaining market share.”

A number of other analysts also recently weighed in on SON. Barclays upped their price target on shares of Sonoco Products from $48.00 to $49.00 and gave the stock an underweight rating in a report on Friday, October 20th. KeyCorp reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Sonoco Products in a report on Thursday, October 19th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $60.00 price target on shares of Sonoco Products in a report on Friday, November 10th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $54.14.

Shares of Sonoco Products (NYSE SON) traded down $0.05 during trading on Friday, hitting $54.19. 458,556 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 356,152. Sonoco Products has a 12 month low of $47.10 and a 12 month high of $55.77. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74, a quick ratio of 1.11 and a current ratio of 1.59. The company has a market cap of $5,391.50, a P/E ratio of 19.92, a PEG ratio of 3.80 and a beta of 1.15.

Sonoco Products (NYSE:SON) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 19th. The industrial products company reported $0.76 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.02. Sonoco Products had a net margin of 5.63% and a return on equity of 16.40%. The company had revenue of $1.32 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.27 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.72 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 9.6% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts predict that Sonoco Products will post 2.8 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, SVP Vicki B. Arthur sold 727 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.00, for a total transaction of $38,531.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 33,998 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,801,894. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CFO Barry L. Saunders sold 5,645 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.39, for a total transaction of $295,741.55. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 60,455 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,167,237.45. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.90% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SON. Ffcm LLC acquired a new position in Sonoco Products during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $113,000. Harfst & Associates Inc. acquired a new position in Sonoco Products during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $126,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its position in Sonoco Products by 18.6% during the 2nd quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,752 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $193,000 after purchasing an additional 589 shares in the last quarter. Seven Eight Capital LP acquired a new position in Sonoco Products during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $206,000. Finally, Tudor Investment Corp ET AL acquired a new position in Sonoco Products during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $220,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.04% of the company’s stock.

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About Sonoco Products

Sonoco Products Company is engaged in manufacturing of industrial and consumer packaging products, and providing packaging services. The Company operates in four segments: Consumer Packaging, Paper and Industrial Converted Products, Display and Packaging, and Protective Solutions. Its Consumer Packaging segment’s products and services include round composite cans, aluminum, steel and peelable membrane easy-open closures for composite and metal cans; plastic bottles, cups and trays, and printed flexible packaging and global brand management.

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