Central Garden & Pet Company (CENT) Raised to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ:CENT) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Central Garden & Pet outpaced the industry in the past one year, primarily owing to twelve consecutive quarters of earnings beat. Moreover, the company’s top-line has also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the third straight quarter, when it posted third-quarter fiscal 2017 results. We note that both the top and bottom lines grew 11.7% and 21.6%, respectively. Robust financial numbers prompted management to provide an upbeat adjusted earnings per share projection for the fiscal year. Organic growth, value accretive acquisitions and divestment of non-strategic assets have been aiding Central Garden & Pet’s performance. Moreover, the company is revamping both its Pet and Garden segments, and intends to possess a balanced approach that encompasses improvement in revenues and profits through operational efficiency as well as cost reduction. However, stiff competition and seasonality of garden business remains a concern.”

Several other brokerages also recently issued reports on CENT. Sidoti downgraded shares of Central Garden & Pet from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Monday, October 16th. KeyCorp reiterated a hold rating on shares of Central Garden & Pet in a research report on Monday, October 16th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Central Garden & Pet from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a research report on Friday, August 25th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reiterated a hold rating on shares of Central Garden & Pet in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $39.00.

Shares of Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ:CENT) traded up $0.34 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $36.85. 33,820 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 101,579. The firm has a market cap of $1,820.00, a P/E ratio of 23.15, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.15 and a beta of 0.03. The company has a current ratio of 3.38, a quick ratio of 1.63 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69. Central Garden & Pet has a 1-year low of $28.37 and a 1-year high of $40.48.

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In other Central Garden & Pet news, Director Mary Beth Springer sold 7,831 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, August 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.03, for a total transaction of $266,488.93. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, Director John Ranelli sold 2,700 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.09, for a total value of $92,043.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 110,339 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,761,456.51. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 14,895 shares of company stock valued at $504,159 over the last three months. Company insiders own 11.60% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. raised its holdings in Central Garden & Pet by 104.6% during the 3rd quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,273 shares of the company’s stock worth $166,000 after purchasing an additional 2,185 shares during the last quarter. OxFORD Asset Management LLP raised its holdings in Central Garden & Pet by 32.6% during the 3rd quarter. OxFORD Asset Management LLP now owns 47,589 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,832,000 after purchasing an additional 11,695 shares during the last quarter. Moody Aldrich Partners LLC bought a new stake in Central Garden & Pet during the 3rd quarter worth about $1,488,000. Axiom International Investors LLC DE raised its holdings in Central Garden & Pet by 82.3% during the 3rd quarter. Axiom International Investors LLC DE now owns 98,710 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,834,000 after purchasing an additional 44,559 shares during the last quarter. Finally, ETRADE Capital Management LLC raised its holdings in Central Garden & Pet by 46.4% during the 3rd quarter. ETRADE Capital Management LLC now owns 29,798 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,157,000 after purchasing an additional 9,444 shares during the last quarter. 20.62% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Central Garden & Pet Company Profile

Central Garden & Pet Company is a marketer and producer of branded products and distributor of third party products in the pet and lawn and garden supplies industries in the United States. The Company operates in two segments: Pet segment and the Garden segment. It is a marketer and producer of pet supplies in the United States.

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