Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. (BUFF) Downgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:BUFF) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. develops, produces, markets and sells pet food primarily in the United States. The Company’s product lines include BLUE Life Protection Formula, BLUE Wilderness, BLUE Basics, BLUE Freedom and BLUE Naturally Fresh line. It offers dry foods, wet foods as well as treats for puppies, adult dogs, senior dogs and litters for kittens, adult cats and mature cats. Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. is headquartered in Wilton, Connecticut. “

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on BUFF. J P Morgan Chase & Co upped their price target on shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products from $25.00 to $26.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Wednesday, August 9th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. restated an outperform rating and set a $25.00 price target (down from $29.00) on shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products in a report on Thursday, August 10th. Susquehanna Bancshares Inc restated a buy rating and set a $30.00 price target (down from $32.00) on shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products in a report on Monday, August 7th. Barclays PLC restated a buy rating and set a $27.00 price target on shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products in a report on Friday, August 11th. Finally, BidaskClub cut shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $29.36.

Blue Buffalo Pet Products (NASDAQ:BUFF) traded up 0.342% on Wednesday, hitting $27.845. The company had a trading volume of 1,098,899 shares. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $27.73 and its 200 day moving average price is $27.73. The stock has a market cap of $5.49 billion, a P/E ratio of 39.218 and a beta of 1.94. Blue Buffalo Pet Products has a 12-month low of $21.51 and a 12-month high of $29.44.

Blue Buffalo Pet Products (NASDAQ:BUFF) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 8th. The company reported $0.21 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.21. Blue Buffalo Pet Products had a net margin of 12.13% and a return on equity of 98.02%. The company had revenue of $294.80 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $301.88 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.19 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.8% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that Blue Buffalo Pet Products will post $0.92 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Blue Buffalo Pet Products announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, August 8th that authorizes the company to repurchase $50.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to reacquire up to 1.2% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, CFO Michael Nathenson sold 37,072 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.58, for a total value of $948,301.76. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 37,072 shares in the company, valued at $948,301.76. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider William W. Bishop, Jr. sold 21,655 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.78, for a total transaction of $623,230.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 208,727 shares of company stock valued at $5,360,033. 7.70% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. FNY Partners Fund LP lifted its stake in shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products by 63.7% in the first quarter. FNY Partners Fund LP now owns 4,500 shares of the company’s stock valued at $103,000 after buying an additional 1,751 shares during the period. Advisor Group Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products by 6.5% in the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 4,513 shares of the company’s stock valued at $103,000 after buying an additional 277 shares during the period. SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new stake in shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products in the second quarter valued at about $138,000. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its stake in shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products by 9.6% in the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 6,070 shares of the company’s stock valued at $138,000 after buying an additional 533 shares during the period. Finally, US Bancorp DE lifted its stake in shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products by 38.5% in the first quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 7,193 shares of the company’s stock valued at $165,000 after buying an additional 2,000 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.74% of the company’s stock.

Blue Buffalo Pet Products Company Profile

Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc (BBPP) is a holding company. The Company operates as a pet food company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, develops, produces, markets and sells pet food under product lines, including BLUE Life Protection Formula, BLUE Wilderness, BLUE Basics, BLUE Freedom and BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet lines.

Analyst Recommendations for Blue Buffalo Pet Products (NASDAQ:BUFF)

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