Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Pinnacle Foods (NYSE:PF) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Tuesday morning.
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. Despite the current barriers, management expects 2017 earnings to jump 19% year over year. Well, estimates have been stable lately ahead of the company's fourth quarter earnings release.”
A number of other analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Credit Suisse Group reduced their price target on shares of Pinnacle Foods from $64.00 to $60.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a report on Friday, October 27th. Buckingham Research reduced their price target on shares of Pinnacle Foods from $68.00 to $62.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a report on Friday, October 27th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Pinnacle Foods has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $65.27.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 10th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 19th were issued a $0.325 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Monday, December 18th. This represents a $1.30 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.28%. Pinnacle Foods’s dividend payout ratio is currently 87.84%.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Stifel Financial Corp increased 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 valued at $1,360,000 after acquiring an additional 155 shares during the last quarter. Castleark Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Pinnacle Foods by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. Castleark Management LLC now owns 81,590 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,846,000 after buying an additional 320 shares during the last quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Pinnacle Foods by 0.8% in the 2nd quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC now owns 43,250 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,569,000 after buying an additional 343 shares during the last quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Pinnacle Foods by 3.7% in the 2nd quarter. Raymond James Financial Services Advisors Inc. now owns 12,590 shares of the company’s stock worth $748,000 after buying an additional 455 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Grassi Investment Management increased its holdings in shares of Pinnacle Foods by 0.8% in the 4th quarter. Grassi Investment Management now owns 114,384 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,802,000 after buying an additional 867 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 95.30% of the company’s stock.
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About Pinnacle Foods
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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