Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of TreeHouse Foods (NYSE:THS) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning.
According to Zacks, “Grocery woes like stiff competition, difficult pricing and sluggish store traffic are making things tough for TreeHouse Foods that has lagged the industry in the past year. This is quite evident from its third-quarter 2017 results, wherein both top and bottom lines fell year over year and the latter came much below expectations. Apart from the aforementioned factors, the divestiture of the SIF business also impacted results, by denting the top line. Additionally, higher freight and commodity costs weighed on the operating income. Nevertheless, TreeHouse Foods is making attempts to enhance its operational performance and reduce cost structure through its TreeHouse 2020 strategy. Notably, this initiative is expected to improve the company’s operating margin by 300 bps by the end of 2020. Moreover, the company has been undertaking acquisitions to augment its portfolio, alongside of enhanced focus on organic food offerings.”
Several other research analysts have also issued reports on the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $39.00 price target on TreeHouse Foods and gave the stock a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, December 13th. Jefferies Group set a $100.00 price objective on TreeHouse Foods and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Sunday, October 29th. TheStreet downgraded TreeHouse Foods from a c- rating to a d+ rating in a research note on Friday, November 10th. Vertical Group raised TreeHouse Foods from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, November 16th. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares reissued a hold rating and issued a $75.00 price objective on shares of TreeHouse Foods in a research note on Monday, October 9th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. TreeHouse Foods currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $59.90.
TreeHouse Foods (NYSE:THS) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The company reported $0.67 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.78 by ($0.11). The firm had revenue of $1.55 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.52 billion. TreeHouse Foods had a positive return on equity of 6.61% and a negative net margin of 4.06%. The firm’s revenue was down 2.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.70 EPS. equities research analysts expect that TreeHouse Foods will post 2.73 earnings per share for the current year.
TreeHouse Foods announced that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase program on Thursday, November 2nd that authorizes the company to repurchase $400.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
In other TreeHouse Foods news, Director Gary Dale Smith purchased 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 7th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $42.64 per share, with a total value of $85,280.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 271 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,555.44. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Sam K. Reed sold 11,480 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.73, for a total value of $490,540.40. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 80,747 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,450,319.31. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 36,440 shares of company stock valued at $1,684,179. Company insiders own 3.50% of the company’s stock.
Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Citigroup Inc. increased its position in shares of TreeHouse Foods by 120.6% during the second quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 1,286 shares of the company’s stock valued at $105,000 after acquiring an additional 703 shares during the last quarter. Parallax Volatility Advisers L.P. increased its position in shares of TreeHouse Foods by 30.9% during the second quarter. Parallax Volatility Advisers L.P. now owns 1,874 shares of the company’s stock valued at $153,000 after acquiring an additional 442 shares during the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank increased its position in shares of TreeHouse Foods by 11.2% during the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,982 shares of the company’s stock valued at $162,000 after acquiring an additional 199 shares during the last quarter. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of TreeHouse Foods during the third quarter valued at approximately $212,000. Finally, Zions Bancorporation purchased a new stake in shares of TreeHouse Foods during the third quarter valued at approximately $212,000.
About TreeHouse Foods
TreeHouse Foods, Inc is a consumer packaged food and beverage manufacturer. The Company’s segments include North American Retail Grocery, Food Away From Home, and Industrial and Export. The Company manufactures a range of shelf stable, refrigerated, fresh and frozen products. Its product categories include beverages, salad dressings, snack nuts, beverage enhancers, pickles, sauces, cereals, pasta and dry dinners, cookies and crackers, retail bakery, aseptic products, jams and other products.
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