Sonoco (SON) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Sonoco (NYSE:SON) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “For full-year 2018, Sonoco expects its adjusted earnings per share will be $3.22-$3.32, reflecting a downward revision in the expected effective tax rate and anticipated earnings accretion from the Highland Packaging acquisition. Compared with the earnings per share in 2017, the mid-point of the guidance reflects year-over-year growth of 17%. For second-quarter 2018, the company projects adjusted earnings per share of 83-89 cents, reflecting 100% year-over-year growth at the mid-point. Sonoco is poised to gain from the Highland Packaging acquisition which will strengthen its thermoforming business. Further, its Grow and Optimize strategy will also aid growth. However, impact of the transition tax, inflationary pressure and operational issues will affect Sonoco’s performance. A strong dollar also remains another headwind. Moreover, the stock has underperformed the industry over the past year.”

SON has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Bank of America lowered shares of Sonoco from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $59.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Monday, April 2nd. KeyCorp restated a hold rating on shares of Sonoco in a research report on Thursday, April 19th. Vertical Research lowered shares of Sonoco from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, April 20th. TheStreet upgraded shares of Sonoco from a c+ rating to a b rating in a research report on Thursday, April 19th. Finally, UBS started coverage on shares of Sonoco in a research report on Friday, April 13th. They set a buy rating and a $55.00 target price for the company. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $54.29.

Shares of Sonoco opened at $51.82 on Wednesday, according to Marketbeat Ratings. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72, a current ratio of 1.61 and a quick ratio of 1.16. The firm has a market capitalization of $5.15 billion, a PE ratio of 18.57, a PEG ratio of 3.37 and a beta of 1.12. Sonoco has a 1 year low of $46.55 and a 1 year high of $55.77.

Sonoco (NYSE:SON) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 15th. The industrial products company reported $0.72 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.73 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $1.30 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.27 billion. Sonoco had a return on equity of 17.02% and a net margin of 3.79%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.62 earnings per share. research analysts predict that Sonoco will post 3.29 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 8th. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 11th will be given a dividend of $0.41 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 10th. This represents a $1.64 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.16%. This is a positive change from Sonoco’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.39. Sonoco’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 58.78%.

In other Sonoco news, SVP Rodger D. Fuller sold 13,974 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, April 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.05, for a total transaction of $713,372.70. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 72,174 shares in the company, valued at $3,684,482.70. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Marcy J. Thompson sold 1,101 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, April 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.00, for a total transaction of $58,353.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 15,510 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $822,030. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 23,632 shares of company stock valued at $1,219,525 in the last quarter. 1.70% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SON. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB lifted its holdings in shares of Sonoco by 31.5% in the 1st quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 10,867 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $527,000 after acquiring an additional 2,600 shares during the last quarter. Royal Bank of Canada lifted its holdings in shares of Sonoco by 6.2% in the 1st quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 520,277 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $25,234,000 after acquiring an additional 30,156 shares during the last quarter. Legal & General Group Plc lifted its holdings in shares of Sonoco by 6.2% in the 1st quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 153,590 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $7,449,000 after acquiring an additional 8,912 shares during the last quarter. Nvwm LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Sonoco by 2,218.0% in the 1st quarter. Nvwm LLC now owns 58,367 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $2,760,000 after acquiring an additional 55,849 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Millennium Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Sonoco by 5,649.3% in the 1st quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 756,841 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $36,707,000 after acquiring an additional 743,677 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.34% of the company’s stock.

About Sonoco

Sonoco Products Company manufactures and sells industrial and consumer packaging products in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The company operates through four segments: Consumer Packaging, Display and Packaging, Paper and Industrial Converted Products, and Protective Solutions. The Consumer Packaging segment offers composite and thermoformed plastic round and shaped rigid containers and trays; extruded and injection-molded plastic products; printed flexible packaging products; brand artwork management; and metal and peelable membrane ends and closures.

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