Pinnacle Foods, Inc. (NYSE:PF) Rating Increased to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Pinnacle Foods, Inc. (NYSE:PF) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Tuesday, October 17th. The firm currently has $64.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Pinnacle Foods have outperformed the industry in the past year, primarily owing to a solid brand portfolio and robust strategic initiatives. Also, the company has been innovating products to offer variety and maintain market share. Moreover, it has been carrying out various acquisitions to grow its distribution network and customer base. Notable acquisitions include Boulder Brands and Duncan Hines. Additionally, Pinnacle Foods has an operational excellence program designed to generate annual productivity savings across the supply chain, which remains encouraging. However, the company’s Specialty segment has been witnessing sluggishness for quite some time and is expected to remain challenging in 2017. Also, its Pickle business is depicting weakness due to continued competitive environment in the form of pricing and innovation. Estimates have been stable ahead of the company’s third-quarter earnings release.”

A number of other analysts have also recently commented on PF. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated an outperform rating and issued a $67.00 price target (up previously from $66.00) on shares of Pinnacle Foods in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $63.00 price target on shares of Pinnacle Foods in a research report on Tuesday, June 27th. UBS AG restated a buy rating and issued a $65.00 price target on shares of Pinnacle Foods in a research report on Monday, August 28th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Pinnacle Foods from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 27th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co reissued an overweight rating and issued a $68.00 price target (up from $65.00) on shares of Pinnacle Foods in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have given a buy rating to the stock. Pinnacle Foods currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $64.25.

Shares of Pinnacle Foods (PF) traded down $1.16 during midday trading on Tuesday, hitting $53.09. The company had a trading volume of 1,010,778 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,003,922. The company has a quick ratio of 0.81, a current ratio of 1.80 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.49. The stock has a market cap of $6,456.62, a PE ratio of 22.60, a P/E/G ratio of 2.28 and a beta of 0.31. Pinnacle Foods has a 1 year low of $46.36 and a 1 year high of $66.67.

Pinnacle Foods (NYSE:PF) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $0.58 EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.58. The firm had revenue of $749.80 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $753.10 million. Pinnacle Foods had a net margin of 5.65% and a return on equity of 14.63%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 1.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.53 EPS. analysts predict that Pinnacle Foods will post 2.55 EPS for the current year.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 9th. Investors of record on Tuesday, August 29th were given a dividend of $0.325 per share. This is an increase from Pinnacle Foods’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.29. The ex-dividend date was Friday, August 25th. This represents a $1.30 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.45%. Pinnacle Foods’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 87.84%.

In related news, EVP Mark L. Schiller sold 17,038 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.61, for a total value of $1,032,673.18. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 74,832 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,535,567.52. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. 1.34% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Alps Advisors Inc. grew its position in Pinnacle Foods by 0.3% in the second quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 8,171 shares of the company’s stock worth $485,000 after buying an additional 21 shares during the last quarter. World Asset Management Inc boosted its stake in shares of Pinnacle Foods by 0.9% during the 2nd quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 4,289 shares of the company’s stock valued at $255,000 after buying an additional 39 shares during the period. Hanseatic Management Services Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Pinnacle Foods by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. Hanseatic Management Services Inc. now owns 18,710 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,111,000 after buying an additional 47 shares during the period. Teacher Retirement System of Texas boosted its stake in shares of Pinnacle Foods by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 9,365 shares of the company’s stock valued at $556,000 after buying an additional 132 shares during the period. Finally, Stifel Financial Corp boosted its stake in shares of Pinnacle Foods by 0.7% during the 2nd quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 22,881 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,360,000 after buying an additional 155 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 95.52% of the company’s stock.

About Pinnacle Foods

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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