Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Pilgrim’s Pride (PPC) to Hold

Pilgrim’s Pride (NASDAQ:PPC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Over the past three months, Pilgrim’s Pride’s shares have underperformed the industry. The company’s first-quarter 2018 adjusted earnings of 53 cents per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. Elevated demand for plant-based protein products might dampen results of meat-product companies like Pilgrim’s Pride. Furthermore, prevalent headwinds like stiff industry rivalry remain causes of concern. However, successful integration activities of the Moy Park buyout will likely help in boosting the company’s European business, going forward. Moreover, premium brands like Del Dia will likely secure sturdier market response in the near term. The company’s unique portfolio strategy is also expected to strengthen its competency, moving ahead.”

A number of other brokerages also recently commented on PPC. Mizuho started coverage on Pilgrim’s Pride in a research report on Thursday, April 5th. They set a “buy” rating and a $29.00 price target for the company. Morgan Stanley set a $25.00 price objective on Pilgrim’s Pride and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, February 27th. TheStreet lowered Pilgrim’s Pride from a “b-” rating to a “c” rating in a report on Thursday, May 10th. ValuEngine lowered Pilgrim’s Pride from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, April 2nd. Finally, Vertical Group raised Pilgrim’s Pride from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, March 14th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Pilgrim’s Pride currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $27.80.

Shares of PPC opened at $20.84 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.29, a current ratio of 1.80 and a quick ratio of 0.94. The company has a market cap of $5.18 billion, a P/E ratio of 7.21 and a beta of 0.20. Pilgrim’s Pride has a 12 month low of $20.23 and a 12 month high of $38.39.

Pilgrim’s Pride (NASDAQ:PPC) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 10th. The company reported $0.53 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.53. The company had revenue of $2.75 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.65 billion. Pilgrim’s Pride had a return on equity of 44.25% and a net margin of 6.84%. Pilgrim’s Pride’s revenue was up 10.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.38 earnings per share. equities research analysts predict that Pilgrim’s Pride will post 3.04 EPS for the current year.

In other Pilgrim’s Pride news, CEO William W. Lovette sold 100,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.36, for a total transaction of $2,536,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 578,653 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $14,674,640.08. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 78.81% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. State of Alaska Department of Revenue bought a new position in shares of Pilgrim’s Pride in the fourth quarter worth $120,000. Advisors Preferred LLC bought a new position in shares of Pilgrim’s Pride in the first quarter worth $100,000. Tiverton Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Pilgrim’s Pride in the first quarter worth $173,000. Glenmede Trust Co. NA boosted its holdings in shares of Pilgrim’s Pride by 96.9% in the fourth quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA now owns 8,361 shares of the company’s stock worth $259,000 after acquiring an additional 4,115 shares during the period. Finally, Matarin Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Pilgrim’s Pride in the first quarter worth $254,000. 23.91% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Pilgrim’s Pride Company Profile

Pilgrim's Pride Corporation engages in the production, processing, marketing, and distribution of fresh, frozen, and value-added chicken products in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, and Mexico. The company offers fresh chicken products, including pre-marinated or non-marinated refrigerated (nonfrozen) whole or cut-up chicken; and prepackaged case-ready chicken, such as whole chickens and chicken parts.

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