Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Freshpet (FRPT) to Sell

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Freshpet (NASDAQ:FRPT) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Freshpet Inc. is a pet food company. The company manufactures and markets natural fresh foods, refrigerated meals, and treats for dogs and cats in the United States and Canada. Freshpet provides meats- based recipes, such as chicken, beef, lamb and salmon; fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, peas and leafy green vegetables, and high-fiber grains, such as brown rice, oats and barley. It sells its products under the Freshpet, Dognation, and Dog Joy brand names. Freshpet Inc. is headquartered in Secaucus, New Jersey. “

A number of other research firms have also recently issued reports on FRPT. Credit Suisse Group lifted their price target on shares of Freshpet from $26.00 to $32.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Monday, August 13th. Imperial Capital lifted their price target on shares of Freshpet from $18.00 to $35.00 and gave the company an in-line rating in a research note on Tuesday. Robert W. Baird lifted their price target on shares of Freshpet from $27.00 to $35.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Monday, July 30th. BidaskClub cut shares of Freshpet from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, October 5th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus lifted their price target on shares of Freshpet from $27.00 to $33.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 7th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $29.57.

Freshpet stock traded down $0.75 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $36.18. The company had a trading volume of 276,176 shares, compared to its average volume of 316,282. Freshpet has a 1-year low of $15.67 and a 1-year high of $40.58. The stock has a market capitalization of $1.23 billion, a P/E ratio of -301.50 and a beta of 1.55.

In other Freshpet news, CFO Richard A. Kassar sold 20,000 shares of Freshpet stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $33.85, for a total transaction of $677,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, COO Scott James Morris sold 21,584 shares of Freshpet stock in a transaction on Friday, August 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.61, for a total transaction of $747,022.24. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 166,214 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,752,666.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 76,096 shares of company stock worth $2,639,500. 5.10% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Barclays PLC boosted its position in shares of Freshpet by 130.3% during the 1st quarter. Barclays PLC now owns 9,283 shares of the company’s stock valued at $153,000 after acquiring an additional 5,253 shares during the last quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale boosted its position in shares of Freshpet by 132.7% during the 3rd quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 4,654 shares of the company’s stock valued at $168,000 after acquiring an additional 2,654 shares during the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC acquired a new position in shares of Freshpet during the 3rd quarter valued at about $206,000. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC acquired a new position in shares of Freshpet during the 2nd quarter valued at about $217,000. Finally, IFG Advisory LLC acquired a new position in shares of Freshpet during the 3rd quarter valued at about $234,000. 72.97% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Freshpet

Freshpet, Inc manufactures and markets natural fresh products, refrigerated meals, and treats for dogs and cats in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The company sells its products under the Freshpet brand; and Dognation and Dog Joy labels through various classes of retail, including grocery, mass, club, pet specialty, and natural, as well as online.

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