Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Domtar (UFS) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Domtar (NYSE:UFS) (TSE:UFS) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Domtar expects higher paper shipments in response to elevated demand in 2019. Management anticipates a positive momentum in the paper and pulp markets, driven by healthy demand and strong fundamentals across its portfolio. Domtar will benefit from the margin-improvement plan and new customer wins within the Personal Care Division in the current year. Moreover, the company remains well poised to benefit from its focus on balanced capital-deployment approach. The stock has outperformed the industry it belongs to, over the past year.  However, Domtar's performance will be hurt by rising raw material prices, competitive pressure and unfavorable foreign currency movements.”

Several other research firms have also commented on UFS. UFS reiterated a sell rating on shares of Domtar in a research note on Thursday, February 21st. TheStreet upgraded shares of Domtar from a c rating to a b rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 6th. Raymond James reiterated a market perform rating and set a $52.00 price objective on shares of Domtar in a research note on Wednesday, February 6th. TD Securities boosted their price objective on shares of Domtar from $45.00 to $51.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 6th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada lowered shares of Domtar from an outperform rating to a sector perform rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $50.00 to $55.00 in a research note on Wednesday, February 6th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. Domtar presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $49.17.

NYSE UFS opened at $49.99 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34, a current ratio of 2.03 and a quick ratio of 1.06. The company has a market cap of $3.17 billion, a P/E ratio of 10.84, a PEG ratio of 1.76 and a beta of 2.02. Domtar has a 52 week low of $33.81 and a 52 week high of $54.50.

Domtar (NYSE:UFS) (TSE:UFS) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 5th. The basic materials company reported $1.63 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.62 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $1.39 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.44 billion. Domtar had a net margin of 5.19% and a return on equity of 11.59%. Domtar’s revenue was up 4.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.64 EPS. Research analysts forecast that Domtar will post 5.71 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, April 2nd will be paid a dividend of $0.435 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, April 1st. This represents a $1.74 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.48%. Domtar’s payout ratio is 37.74%.

In other news, insider Michael Dennis Garcia sold 11,272 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.52, for a total value of $580,733.44. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Michael Fagan sold 11,834 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.13, for a total transaction of $605,072.42. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 148,129 shares of company stock worth $7,765,651 in the last 90 days. 0.95% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in UFS. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund boosted its holdings in shares of Domtar by 3,483.6% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 877,934 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $25,000 after acquiring an additional 853,435 shares during the last quarter. Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Domtar in the 4th quarter valued at $26,000. Stevens First Principles Investment Advisors purchased a new stake in shares of Domtar in the 4th quarter valued at $31,000. Enlightenment Research LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Domtar in the 4th quarter valued at $77,000. Finally, IFP Advisors Inc boosted its holdings in shares of Domtar by 144.8% in the 4th quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 2,269 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $79,000 after acquiring an additional 1,342 shares during the last quarter. 91.65% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Domtar

Domtar Corporation designs, manufactures, markets, and distributes various communication papers, specialty and packaging papers, and absorbent hygiene products in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and internationally. It operates in two segments, Pulp and Paper, and Personal Care. The company offers business papers, including copy and electronic imaging papers for use with inkjet and laser printers, photocopiers, and plain-paper fax machines, as well as computer papers, preprinted forms, and digital papers for office and home use.

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