Zoetis Inc. (ZTS) Upgraded to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Zoetis Inc. (NYSE:ZTS) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Thursday. The firm currently has $71.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Growth at Zoetis is being driven by industry-leading dermatology portfolio consisting of Apoquel and Cytopoint and new oral parasiticide Simparica. Sales of companion animal products are being further boosted by further penetration of new products in key countries outside of the U.S. such as Japan, Brazil, and Canada while growth in livestock portfolio was balanced across the U.S. and international business segments. However, swine performance is being impacted by competition from Fostera. The recent acquisition of Nexvet Biopharma will further strengthen Zoetis’ chronic pain management franchise. Shares of Zoetis have outperformed the industry in 2017 so far. However, Zoetis faces stiff competition from companies like Merck Animal Health (the animal health division of Merck), Elanco.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. Stifel Nicolaus restated a buy rating and set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Zoetis in a report on Friday, July 21st. Deutsche Bank AG restated a buy rating and set a $65.00 price objective (up previously from $62.00) on shares of Zoetis in a report on Monday, July 17th. Cowen and Company set a $70.00 price objective on Zoetis and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Monday, July 17th. Hilliard Lyons assumed coverage on Zoetis in a report on Tuesday, June 20th. They set a buy rating and a $77.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a buy rating and issued a $75.00 price target on shares of Zoetis in a research note on Wednesday, September 6th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $65.76.

Shares of Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) opened at 65.44 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $32.01 billion, a P/E ratio of 36.99 and a beta of 1.02. Zoetis has a 52 week low of $46.86 and a 52 week high of $65.83. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $63.94 and its 200 day moving average price is $60.97.

Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 8th. The company reported $0.53 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.53. The firm had revenue of $1.27 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.27 billion. Zoetis had a return on equity of 62.49% and a net margin of 17.50%. The business’s revenue was up 5.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.49 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Zoetis will post $2.34 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 1st. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 9th will be issued a dividend of $0.105 per share. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 8th. This represents a $0.42 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.64%. Zoetis’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 23.73%.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. increased its holdings in shares of Zoetis by 16.8% during the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 1,598 shares of the company’s stock worth $100,000 after buying an additional 230 shares in the last quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Zoetis by 16.1% during the second quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. now owns 1,878 shares of the company’s stock worth $117,000 after buying an additional 260 shares in the last quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America increased its holdings in shares of Zoetis by 0.7% during the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,905 shares of the company’s stock worth $102,000 after buying an additional 13 shares in the last quarter. Almanack Investment Partners LLC. acquired a new position in shares of Zoetis during the second quarter worth $119,000. Finally, Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd acquired a new position in shares of Zoetis during the first quarter worth $111,000. Institutional investors own 93.20% of the company’s stock.

About Zoetis

Zoetis Inc is engaged in the discovery, development, manufacture and commercialization of animal health medicines and vaccines, with a focus on both livestock and companion animals. The Company has a business, commercializing products across eight core species: cattle, swine, poultry, sheep and fish (collectively, livestock) and dogs, cats and horses (collectively, companion animals), and within five product categories: anti-infectives, vaccines, parasiticides, medicated feed additives and other pharmaceuticals.

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