Freshpet (NASDAQ:FRPT) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Hold”

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Freshpet (NASDAQ:FRPT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Wednesday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Freshpet Inc. is a pet food company. The company manufactures and markets natural fresh foods, refrigerated meals, and treats for dogs and cats in the United States and Canada. Freshpet provides meats- based recipes, such as chicken, beef, lamb and salmon; fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, peas and leafy green vegetables, and high-fiber grains, such as brown rice, oats and barley. It sells its products under the Freshpet, Dognation, and Dog Joy brand names. Freshpet Inc. is headquartered in Secaucus, New Jersey. “

FRPT has been the subject of several other reports. BidaskClub raised shares of Zai Lab from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note on Friday, June 28th. TheStreet cut shares of Whitestone REIT from a b- rating to a c+ rating in a research note on Monday, April 1st. DA Davidson initiated coverage on shares of Nomad Foods in a research note on Wednesday, June 19th. They issued a buy rating and a $26.00 target price for the company. Finally, SunTrust Banks cut shares of LegacyTexas Financial Group from a buy rating to a hold rating and decreased their target price for the company from $43.00 to $39.05 in a research note on Tuesday, June 18th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $43.57.

Shares of FRPT traded down $0.81 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $45.89. 203,344 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 299,546. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.67 billion, a P/E ratio of -305.93 and a beta of 1.11. Freshpet has a 52 week low of $25.81 and a 52 week high of $51.85. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $46.71. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07, a quick ratio of 0.72 and a current ratio of 1.08.

Freshpet (NASDAQ:FRPT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, May 6th. The company reported ($0.10) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of ($0.09) by ($0.01). The business had revenue of $54.80 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $54.28 million. Freshpet had a negative return on equity of 4.46% and a negative net margin of 2.57%. Freshpet’s revenue was up 26.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned ($0.10) earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Freshpet will post 0.06 EPS for the current year.

In other Freshpet news, insider Scott James Morris sold 20,436 shares of Freshpet stock in a transaction on Tuesday, June 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.58, for a total transaction of $992,780.88. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 168,510 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $8,186,215.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, EVP Stephen Weise sold 5,000 shares of Freshpet stock in a transaction on Monday, June 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.50, for a total transaction of $237,500.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 5,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $237,500. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 174,104 shares of company stock valued at $8,335,030 over the last three months. 5.10% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can bought a new position in Freshpet during the fourth quarter worth $58,000. NumerixS Investment Technologies Inc bought a new position in Freshpet during the first quarter worth $120,000. SG Americas Securities LLC bought a new position in Freshpet during the first quarter worth $140,000. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its position in Freshpet by 28.2% during the fourth quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 5,209 shares of the company’s stock worth $167,000 after purchasing an additional 1,146 shares during the period. Finally, Quantamental Technologies LLC bought a new position in Freshpet during the first quarter worth $190,000. 86.74% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Freshpet

Freshpet, Inc manufactures and markets natural fresh products, refrigerated meals, and treats for dogs and cats in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The company sells its products under the Freshpet brand; and Dognation and Dog Joy labels through various classes of retail, including grocery, mass, club, pet specialty, and natural, as well as online.

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