Pinnacle Foods (PF) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Pinnacle Foods (NYSE:PF) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Friday, March 9th. The brokerage presently has a $64.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target points to a potential upside of 21.10% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Pinnacle Foods has surpassed the industry in the past three months. The company has been successfully expanding market share through strategic buyouts and product innovations. In fact the company has been striving to expand its Birds Eye and Duncan Hines products line through product launches and acquisitions. Moreover, strong in-market performance combined with enhancements in retail segments has been fueling the company’s top-line performance. Backed by such dedicated efforts, Pinnacle Foods net sales during the fourth-quarter of 2017 improved 2.9% from the prior-year quarter. Additionally, Pinnacle Foods’ productivity initiatives have been aiding the company to generate savings and gain business efficiency. Considering such upsides, management provided an encouraging view for 2018. However, the company’s Specialty Foods unit continued to be challenged. Also, high marketing expenses and input cost inflation remain concerns.”

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A number of other analysts also recently commented on the company. Morgan Stanley reduced their price objective on Pinnacle Foods from $66.00 to $63.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, March 2nd. Credit Suisse Group set a $64.00 price objective on Pinnacle Foods and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, March 2nd. Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $67.00 price objective on shares of Pinnacle Foods in a research report on Thursday, March 1st. Buckingham Research set a $62.00 target price on Pinnacle Foods and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, March 2nd. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Pinnacle Foods from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 7th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $64.58.

Shares of NYSE PF traded down $1.25 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $52.85. 896,675 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,696,171. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.23, a quick ratio of 0.97 and a current ratio of 1.84. The firm has a market cap of $6,439.66, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.22, a P/E/G ratio of 2.33 and a beta of 0.47. Pinnacle Foods has a fifty-two week low of $52.25 and a fifty-two week high of $66.67.

Pinnacle Foods (NYSE:PF) last released its earnings results on Thursday, March 1st. The company reported $0.94 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.95 by ($0.01). The business had revenue of $883.51 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $896.53 million. Pinnacle Foods had a net margin of 16.92% and a return on equity of 14.75%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.79 EPS. equities research analysts forecast that Pinnacle Foods will post 2.9 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, Director Muktesh Pant bought 20,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 7th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $56.93 per share, with a total value of $1,138,600.00. Following the purchase, the director now owns 49,706 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,829,762.58. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. 1.34% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System grew its stake in Pinnacle Foods by 4.5% in the third quarter. State Board of Administration of Florida Retirement System now owns 108,896 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,226,000 after acquiring an additional 4,710 shares during the period. BT Investment Management Ltd grew its stake in Pinnacle Foods by 25.5% in the third quarter. BT Investment Management Ltd now owns 14,499 shares of the company’s stock valued at $829,000 after acquiring an additional 2,944 shares during the period. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. acquired a new position in Pinnacle Foods in the third quarter valued at about $891,000. Stevens Capital Management LP acquired a new position in Pinnacle Foods in the third quarter valued at about $2,498,000. Finally, Gabelli Funds LLC grew its stake in Pinnacle Foods by 11.2% in the third quarter. Gabelli Funds LLC now owns 101,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,797,000 after acquiring an additional 10,200 shares during the period. 96.93% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Pinnacle Foods Company Profile

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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