Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Pinnacle Foods (NYSE:PF) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Friday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $64.00 price objective on the stock.
According to Zacks, “Pinnacle Foods has surpassed the industry in the past three months. The company has been successfully expanding market share through strategic buyouts and product innovations. In fact the company has been striving to expand its Birds Eye and Duncan Hines products line through product launches and acquisitions. Moreover, strong in-market performance combined with enhancements in retail segments has been fueling the company’s top-line performance. Backed by such dedicated efforts, Pinnacle Foods net sales during the fourth-quarter of 2017 improved 2.9% from the prior-year quarter. Additionally, Pinnacle Foods’ productivity initiatives have been aiding the company to generate savings and gain business efficiency. Considering such upsides, management provided an encouraging view for 2018. However, the company’s Specialty Foods unit continued to be challenged. Also, high marketing expenses and input cost inflation remain concerns.”
A number of other analysts have also weighed in on the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised their price objective on shares of Pinnacle Foods from $63.00 to $64.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 13th. Credit Suisse Group set a $67.00 price objective on shares of Pinnacle Foods and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 10th. Jefferies Group restated a buy rating and set a $67.00 price objective on shares of Pinnacle Foods in a research note on Thursday, March 1st. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Pinnacle Foods from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 7th. Finally, Buckingham Research set a $62.00 price target on shares of Pinnacle Foods and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, March 2nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $64.64.
Pinnacle Foods (NYSE:PF) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 1st. The company reported $0.94 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.95 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $883.51 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $896.53 million. Pinnacle Foods had a net margin of 16.92% and a return on equity of 14.75%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $0.79 earnings per share. equities research analysts predict that Pinnacle Foods will post 2.9 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 11th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, February 27th will be paid a $0.325 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, February 26th. This represents a $1.30 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.25%. Pinnacle Foods’s dividend payout ratio is presently 78.79%.
In related news, Director Muktesh Pant purchased 20,000 shares of Pinnacle Foods stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 7th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $56.93 per share, for a total transaction of $1,138,600.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 49,706 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,829,762.58. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders own 1.34% of the company’s stock.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Three Peaks Capital Management LLC grew its position in Pinnacle Foods by 31.5% during the fourth quarter. Three Peaks Capital Management LLC now owns 231,461 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,765,000 after buying an additional 55,463 shares during the period. BT Investment Management Ltd grew its position in Pinnacle Foods by 25.5% during the third quarter. BT Investment Management Ltd now owns 14,499 shares of the company’s stock valued at $829,000 after buying an additional 2,944 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC grew its position in Pinnacle Foods by 11.1% during the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 253,220 shares of the company’s stock valued at $14,477,000 after buying an additional 25,200 shares during the period. Legal & General Group Plc grew its position in Pinnacle Foods by 18.4% during the third quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 82,648 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,726,000 after buying an additional 12,866 shares during the period. Finally, Miles Capital Inc. bought a new stake in Pinnacle Foods during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $204,000. Institutional investors own 96.89% of the company’s stock.
Pinnacle Foods Company Profile
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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