Newell Brands (NWL) Upgraded to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Newell Brands (NYSE:NWL) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Newell has been smoothly progressing with the execution of its Transformation Plan through market share gains, point of sale growth, innovation, e-commerce improvement, and cost-saving plans. Notably, the key aspect of the plan is restructuring the company into a global consumer product entity, valued at more than $9 billion. It also remains focused on right-sizing its cost structure for anticipated smaller net sales and recover the synergies lost through the divestitures. These efforts will help improve operational performance and enhance shareholder value. However, the stock lagged the industry in the past three months owing to dismal top-line results in second-quarter 2018, which marked its second straight miss. Also, the company’s business segments witnessed a year-over-year decline in sales. Though earnings beat estimates, it declined due to lower core sales, adverse mix and inflation. Management also lowered its 2018 guidance.”

A number of other analysts have also commented on the stock. Barclays reissued a hold rating and issued a $24.00 price objective on shares of Newell Brands in a research report on Sunday, October 7th. Bank of America cut their price objective on shares of Newell Brands from $25.00 to $23.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, October 4th. Citigroup cut their price objective on shares of Newell Brands from $29.00 to $28.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, August 24th. Jefferies Financial Group cut their price objective on shares of Newell Brands from $29.00 to $23.00 and set a hold rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, August 8th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reissued a hold rating and issued a $24.00 price objective on shares of Newell Brands in a research report on Wednesday, August 8th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating, four have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $28.82.

Shares of NWL stock opened at $17.52 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.66, a quick ratio of 2.74 and a current ratio of 3.17. The firm has a market capitalization of $9.59 billion, a PE ratio of 6.37, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.72 and a beta of 0.60. Newell Brands has a 12 month low of $17.28 and a 12 month high of $43.13.

Newell Brands (NYSE:NWL) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, August 6th. The company reported $0.82 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.78 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $2.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.83 billion. Newell Brands had a net margin of 16.39% and a return on equity of 9.58%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 12.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.87 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that Newell Brands will post 0.88 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 14th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 31st were given a dividend of $0.23 per share. This represents a $0.92 annualized dividend and a yield of 5.25%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 30th. Newell Brands’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 33.45%.

In other news, Director James Craigie purchased 11,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 8th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $21.33 per share, with a total value of $245,295.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 14,081 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $300,347.73. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, CEO Michael B. Polk purchased 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 13th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $20.63 per share, for a total transaction of $206,300.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 941,951 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $19,432,449.13. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.97% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Icahn Carl C bought a new position in shares of Newell Brands in the first quarter valued at about $771,529,000. Pzena Investment Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Newell Brands in the second quarter valued at about $427,655,000. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its position in shares of Newell Brands by 90.9% in the second quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,843,491 shares of the company’s stock valued at $47,544,000 after purchasing an additional 877,661 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP raised its position in shares of Newell Brands by 241.2% in the second quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 1,178,641 shares of the company’s stock valued at $30,397,000 after purchasing an additional 833,230 shares during the period. Finally, OLD Republic International Corp bought a new position in shares of Newell Brands in the first quarter valued at about $15,079,000. 97.80% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Newell Brands

Newell Brands Inc designs, manufactures, sources, and distributes consumer and commercial products worldwide. The company's Live segment offers household products, including kitchen appliances, gourmet cookware, bakeware and cutlery, food storage and home storage products, fresh preserving products, and home fragrance products; and baby gear, infant care, and health products primarily under Aprica, Baby Jogger, Ball, Calphalon, Chesapeake Bay Candle, Crock-Pot, FoodSaver, Graco, Mr.

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