Traders Buy Zoetis (ZTS) on Weakness

Investors purchased shares of Zoetis Inc (NYSE:ZTS) on weakness during trading hours on Monday. $95.88 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $28.51 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $67.37 million into the stock. Of all companies tracked, Zoetis had the 18th highest net in-flow for the day. Zoetis traded down ($0.56) for the day and closed at $86.27

ZTS has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded shares of Zoetis from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $100.00 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, October 15th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Zoetis from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 target price for the company in a research note on Wednesday, October 17th. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated an “overweight” rating and issued a $105.00 target price (up from $98.00) on shares of Zoetis in a research note on Wednesday, October 17th. Morgan Stanley set a $100.00 price objective on shares of Zoetis and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, November 2nd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating on shares of Zoetis in a research report on Sunday, November 11th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $93.53.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.04, a quick ratio of 2.63 and a current ratio of 4.06. The stock has a market capitalization of $41.37 billion, a PE ratio of 35.95, a P/E/G ratio of 1.59 and a beta of 0.88.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 1st. Stockholders of record on Friday, January 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.164 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, January 17th. This is a boost from Zoetis’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.13. This represents a $0.66 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.76%. Zoetis’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 27.50%.

Zoetis declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock buyback program on Wednesday, December 12th that allows the company to buyback $2.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to purchase up to 4.7% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, Director Willie M. Reed sold 3,205 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $93.74, for a total transaction of $300,436.70. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 566 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $53,056.84. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Clinton A. Jr. Lewis sold 6,125 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $85.21, for a total transaction of $521,911.25. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 48,070 shares in the company, valued at $4,096,044.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 15,830 shares of company stock worth $1,397,323 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.35% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Whittier Trust Co. increased its stake in Zoetis by 3.2% in the fourth quarter. Whittier Trust Co. now owns 4,039 shares of the company’s stock valued at $345,000 after acquiring an additional 124 shares during the last quarter. North Star Investment Management Corp. increased its stake in Zoetis by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. North Star Investment Management Corp. now owns 22,525 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,927,000 after acquiring an additional 125 shares during the last quarter. Sandy Spring Bank increased its stake in Zoetis by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Sandy Spring Bank now owns 29,716 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,542,000 after acquiring an additional 125 shares during the last quarter. InterOcean Capital LLC increased its stake in Zoetis by 5.0% in the fourth quarter. InterOcean Capital LLC now owns 2,945 shares of the company’s stock valued at $252,000 after acquiring an additional 139 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Harvest Management LLC increased its stake in Zoetis by 8.0% in the fourth quarter. Harvest Management LLC now owns 2,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $231,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. 92.87% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Zoetis Company Profile (NYSE:ZTS)

Zoetis Inc discovers, develops, manufactures, and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines in the United States and internationally. It commercializes products primarily across species, including livestock, such as cattle, swine, poultry, fish, and sheep; and companion animals comprising dogs, cats, and horses.

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