Zacks Investment Research cut shares of TreeHouse Foods (NYSE:THS) from a hold rating to a strong sell rating in a report issued on Monday.
According to Zacks, “TreeHouse Foods, which has lagged the industry in a year, has been bearing the brunt of pricing pressure stemming from stiff competition in the grocery industry. This, along with commodity cost inflation and rising freight costs has been marring TreeHouse Foods’ DOI margin for a while now. This was reflected in fourth-quarter 2017 results, which marked the company’s third straight quarter of year-over-year earnings and sales decline. Apart from strained margins, results were hurt by the sale of SIF business. Unfortunately, management expects these hurdles to persist in 2018, which is evident from its drab view. Nonetheless, the company remains on track with TreeHouse 2020 plan that aims to boost operating margin by 300 bps by the end of 2020, through complete business integration and cost reduction. Also, TreeHouse completed a review of its SG&A and related costs and expects 2018 savings of roughly $30 million.”
Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Stifel Nicolaus decreased their price target on shares of TreeHouse Foods from $44.00 to $40.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a research note on Friday, February 16th. Credit Suisse Group set a $68.00 price target on shares of TreeHouse Foods and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 31st. BMO Capital Markets decreased their price target on shares of TreeHouse Foods to $50.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. Jefferies Group reiterated a buy rating and set a $68.00 price target on shares of TreeHouse Foods in a research note on Thursday, February 15th. Finally, UBS Group decreased their price target on shares of TreeHouse Foods from $70.00 to $46.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a research note on Friday, November 3rd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $53.51.
TreeHouse Foods (NYSE:THS) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 15th. The company reported $1.02 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.93 by $0.09. The firm had revenue of $1.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.70 billion. TreeHouse Foods had a negative net margin of 4.54% and a positive return on equity of 6.49%. TreeHouse Foods’s quarterly revenue was down 4.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $1.14 EPS. analysts forecast that TreeHouse Foods will post 2.11 earnings per share for the current year.
TreeHouse Foods announced that its board has approved a stock buyback program on Thursday, November 2nd that permits the company to repurchase $400.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
In other news, VP Thomas Emmet Oneill III sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.32, for a total value of $90,640.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 135,019 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,119,061.08. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Sam K. Reed sold 11,480 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $42.44, for a total transaction of $487,211.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 81,147 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,443,878.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 36,440 shares of company stock valued at $1,680,850 in the last 90 days. Company insiders own 3.50% of the company’s stock.
Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in THS. Citigroup Inc. increased its holdings in shares of TreeHouse Foods by 120.6% in the 2nd quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 1,286 shares of the company’s stock valued at $105,000 after purchasing an additional 703 shares in the last quarter. Balter Liquid Alternatives LLC purchased a new position in shares of TreeHouse Foods in the 4th quarter valued at about $174,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue purchased a new position in shares of TreeHouse Foods in the 4th quarter valued at about $197,000. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. purchased a new position in shares of TreeHouse Foods in the 3rd quarter valued at about $212,000. Finally, Zions Bancorporation purchased a new position in shares of TreeHouse Foods in the 3rd quarter valued at about $212,000.
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TreeHouse Foods Company Profile
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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