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

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Dean Foods Company (NYSE:DF) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Dean Foods’ shares underperformed the industry in the last three months. While Dean Foods’ in-line earnings in third-quarter 2017 reflects an improvement from the negative earnings trend in preceding three quarters, sales lagged estimates for the second straight quarter. Results were hurt by soft volumes, higher raw milk costs, and loss of share in U.S. fluid milk volumes. Moreover, lost sales volumes and incremental costs related to the recent hurricanes in both Texas and Florida were hindrances. However, the company anticipates to gain from smart volume initiative through the rest of 2017, aimed at improving top line, building margins and creating operating efficiencies. Further, the company’s initiatives to strengthen brands and diversify portfolio bode well. It also remains on track with its comprehensive productivity program, including OpEx 2020, and company-wide initiatives to drive efficiencies.”

Other research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Vertical Research cut shares of Dean Foods from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. J P Morgan Chase & Co cut shares of Dean Foods from an overweight rating to a neutral rating and dropped their target price for the stock from $16.00 to $12.00 in a report on Tuesday, August 8th. Jefferies Group LLC dropped their target price on shares of Dean Foods from $20.00 to $16.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a report on Thursday, August 10th. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a buy rating and issued a $13.00 target price (down previously from $17.00) on shares of Dean Foods in a report on Thursday, August 10th. Finally, Vertical Group cut shares of Dean Foods from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, August 10th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. Dean Foods has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $13.06.

Dean Foods (DF) traded up $0.08 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $9.61. 2,291,700 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,704,471. The company has a market capitalization of $867.91, a PE ratio of 10.36, a P/E/G ratio of 1.68 and a beta of 0.53. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.33, a current ratio of 1.28 and a quick ratio of 0.93. Dean Foods has a 52-week low of $9.01 and a 52-week high of $22.31.

Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, November 7th. The company reported $0.20 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.20. The firm had revenue of $1.94 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.97 billion. Dean Foods had a net margin of 0.53% and a return on equity of 14.04%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.37 earnings per share. sell-side analysts forecast that Dean Foods will post 0.81 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 5th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 20th will be paid a $0.09 dividend. This represents a $0.36 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.75%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 17th. Dean Foods’s dividend payout ratio is currently 78.26%.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. increased its position in Dean Foods by 13.8% during the 1st quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 5,670 shares of the company’s stock valued at $111,000 after purchasing an additional 686 shares during the period. Flinton Capital Management LLC increased its position in Dean Foods by 60.6% during the 2nd quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 6,448 shares of the company’s stock valued at $110,000 after purchasing an additional 2,432 shares during the period. Riverhead Capital Management LLC increased its position in Dean Foods by 62.0% during the 2nd quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 7,128 shares of the company’s stock valued at $121,000 after purchasing an additional 2,728 shares during the period. LS Investment Advisors LLC increased its position in Dean Foods by 17.5% during the 2nd quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 7,275 shares of the company’s stock valued at $124,000 after purchasing an additional 1,081 shares during the period. Finally, Advisor Group Inc. increased its position in Dean Foods by 40.7% during the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 7,857 shares of the company’s stock valued at $133,000 after purchasing an additional 2,271 shares during the period. 96.57% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Dean Foods

Dean Foods Company is a food and beverage company. The Company processes and distributes fluid milk, and other dairy and dairy case products in the United States. It is engaged in manufacturing, marketing, selling and distributing a range of branded and private label dairy and dairy case products. It offers branded and private label dairy case products, including fluid milk, ice cream, cultured dairy products, creamers, ice cream mix and other dairy products to retailers, distributors, foodservice outlets, educational institutions and governmental entities across the United States.

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