Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) Upgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

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Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday, September 18th.

According to Zacks, “Dean Foods, whose shares have declined in the past three months, is battling hurdles related to input cost inflation, soft volumes and increased retailer investments in the private label space. These factors hurt the company in second-quarter 2018, wherein earnings fell year over year due to greater-than-expected increases in resin, freight and fuel expenses. Also, soft volumes and greater mix of private label products hurt the gross margin. These hurdles are expected to persist, which compelled management to slash its 2018 earnings view. Nonetheless, the company is aggressively working toward enhancing volumes and lowering costs through smart volumes initiative and its cost-productivity plan. Notably, the latter helped lower G&A costs by about $13 million during the quarter. We also commend Dean Foods’ focus on diversifying its portfolio by moving beyond core brands, evident from its raised stake in Good Karma.”

DF has been the subject of several other reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered shares of Dean Foods from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and decreased their price objective for the company from $9.00 to $6.00 in a research report on Friday, August 17th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Dean Foods from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 22nd. Deutsche Bank raised shares of Dean Foods from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $8.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Wednesday, August 8th. Jefferies Financial Group set a $13.00 price objective on shares of Dean Foods and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 28th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets decreased their price objective on shares of Dean Foods from $10.00 to $9.00 and set a “market perform” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, August 8th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $9.06.

Shares of DF stock traded down $0.08 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $7.09. 1,828,797 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,616,227. The firm has a market cap of $648.76 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.86, a PEG ratio of 1.35 and a beta of 0.28. Dean Foods has a 52-week low of $6.94 and a 52-week high of $12.09. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.39, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a current ratio of 1.47.

Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) last released its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 7th. The company reported $0.16 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.14 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $1.95 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.94 billion. Dean Foods had a net margin of 0.17% and a return on equity of 10.88%. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.21 earnings per share. As a group, equities analysts predict that Dean Foods will post 0.4 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Dean Foods news, major shareholder Value Vals Ag Vv purchased 350,000 shares of Dean Foods stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 7th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $8.31 per share, with a total value of $2,908,500.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Company insiders own 1.20% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of DF. BlackRock Inc. grew its stake in shares of Dean Foods by 4.3% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 13,609,565 shares of the company’s stock worth $143,036,000 after purchasing an additional 560,559 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its stake in shares of Dean Foods by 8.2% during the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 7,619,013 shares of the company’s stock worth $80,077,000 after purchasing an additional 578,975 shares during the period. FMR LLC grew its stake in shares of Dean Foods by 1.5% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 2,256,537 shares of the company’s stock worth $23,716,000 after purchasing an additional 34,222 shares during the period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in shares of Dean Foods by 9.4% during the 1st quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,715,168 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,785,000 after purchasing an additional 146,849 shares during the period. Finally, Northern Trust Corp grew its stake in shares of Dean Foods by 2.9% during the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,168,983 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,286,000 after purchasing an additional 33,173 shares during the period. 85.15% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Dean Foods Company Profile

Dean Foods Company, a food and beverage company, processes and distributes milk, and other dairy and dairy case products in the United States. The company manufactures, markets, and distributes various branded and private label dairy, and diary case products, such as fluid milk, ice creams, cultured dairy products, creamers, ice cream mixes, and other dairy products; and juices, teas, bottled water, and other products.

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