Trueblue (TBI) Lifted to Strong-Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Trueblue (NYSE:TBI) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning. The firm currently has $31.00 price target on the business services provider’s stock.

According to Zacks, “TrueBlue, Inc. is a leading provider of specialized workforce solutions, helping clients improve growth and performance by providing staffing, workforce management, and recruitment process outsourcing solutions. The company’s specialized workforce solutions meet clients’ needs for a reliable, efficient workforce in a wide variety of industries. “

TBI has been the subject of a number of other reports. BMO Capital Markets increased their price objective on Trueblue from $23.00 to $26.00 and gave the stock a market perform rating in a report on Wednesday, November 1st. TheStreet upgraded Trueblue from a c+ rating to a b rating in a report on Friday, November 17th. Finally, Robert W. Baird increased their price objective on Trueblue from $25.00 to $26.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Tuesday, October 31st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating, one has assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $28.67.

Shares of Trueblue (NYSE TBI) opened at $28.45 on Tuesday. Trueblue has a fifty-two week low of $19.30 and a fifty-two week high of $29.50. The stock has a market capitalization of $1,191.21, a PE ratio of 21.39 and a beta of 2.28. The company has a quick ratio of 1.77, a current ratio of 2.02 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.21.

Trueblue (NYSE:TBI) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 7th. The business services provider reported $0.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.03. Trueblue had a return on equity of 13.30% and a net margin of 2.21%. The company had revenue of $669.63 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $667.66 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.58 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 8.9% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts predict that Trueblue will post 2.21 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Trueblue declared that its board has initiated a share buyback program on Monday, October 30th that permits the company to buyback $100.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the business services provider to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are typically an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, EVP Wayne W. Larkin sold 12,600 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.54, for a total transaction of $359,604.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 39,461 shares in the company, valued at $1,126,216.94. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Steven C. Cooper sold 23,900 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.06, for a total value of $670,634.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 57,371 shares of company stock valued at $1,611,495. 2.00% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of TBI. Meeder Asset Management Inc. grew its stake in Trueblue by 192.7% in the third quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,706 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $106,000 after purchasing an additional 3,098 shares in the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. bought a new position in Trueblue in the third quarter valued at approximately $117,000. Schroder Investment Management Group bought a new position in Trueblue in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $149,000. Jane Street Group LLC bought a new position in Trueblue in the third quarter valued at approximately $203,000. Finally, Virginia Retirement Systems ET AL bought a new position in Trueblue in the third quarter valued at approximately $209,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 90.52% of the company’s stock.

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About Trueblue

TrueBlue, Inc is a provider of specialized workforce solutions. The Company is engaged in providing staffing, on-site workforce management and recruitment process outsourcing services. The Company operates through three segments: PeopleReady, PeopleManagement and PeopleScout. Its PeopleReady segment provides blue-collar contingent staffing through the PeopleReady service line.

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