Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ:CENT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning.
According to Zacks, “Shares of Central Garden & Pet have outpaced the industry in a year. Organic growth, value accretive acquisitions and divestment of non-strategic assets bode well for the stock. Management is revamping both Pet and Garden segments and applies a balanced approach that encompasses improvement in revenues and profits through operational efficiency. We believe that improved product offerings, strategic investments, growth in e-commerce and cost containment efforts helped post better-than-expected first-quarter fiscal 2018 results, wherein both the top and bottom lines grew year over year. However, rise in cost of goods sold and occupancy, higher SG&A and interest expenses as well as seasonality of business remain concerns. Nevertheless, management now expects fiscal 2018 adjusted earnings per share to increase by 23.3% or higher on account of lower Federal tax rate and sturdy quarterly performance.”
Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the stock. KeyCorp reissued a buy rating and set a $46.00 price objective on shares of Central Garden & Pet in a report on Monday, March 26th. SunTrust Banks lifted their price objective on shares of Central Garden & Pet to $50.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Monday. Finally, BidaskClub lowered shares of Central Garden & Pet from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Saturday, January 6th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $45.60.
Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ:CENT) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, February 7th. The company reported $0.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.15 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $442.01 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $435.19 million. Central Garden & Pet had a net margin of 4.69% and a return on equity of 12.86%. Central Garden & Pet’s revenue was up 5.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.12 earnings per share. sell-side analysts anticipate that Central Garden & Pet will post 1.89 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other Central Garden & Pet news, Director John Ranelli sold 2,000 shares of Central Garden & Pet stock in a transaction on Monday, February 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $37.19, for a total value of $74,380.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 17,209 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $640,002.71. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CFO Nicholas Lahanas sold 1,824 shares of Central Garden & Pet stock in a transaction on Monday, February 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.87, for a total transaction of $69,074.88. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 23,358 shares in the company, valued at $884,567.46. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 42,589 shares of company stock worth $1,588,316. 11.60% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Martin & Co. Inc. TN grew its holdings in Central Garden & Pet by 3.0% in the fourth quarter. Martin & Co. Inc. TN now owns 68,750 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,676,000 after purchasing an additional 2,025 shares during the last quarter. MetLife Investment Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Central Garden & Pet in the fourth quarter worth $173,000. Millennium Management LLC grew its holdings in Central Garden & Pet by 780.2% in the fourth quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 207,168 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,063,000 after purchasing an additional 183,631 shares during the last quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. grew its holdings in Central Garden & Pet by 124.0% in the fourth quarter. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. now owns 51,358 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,999,000 after purchasing an additional 28,430 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Stone Ridge Asset Management LLC purchased a new position in Central Garden & Pet in the fourth quarter worth $629,000. 19.65% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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Central Garden & Pet Company Profile
Central Garden & Pet Company, together with its subsidiaries, produces and distributes products for the lawn and garden, and pet supplies markets in the United States. It operates through two segments, Pet and Garden. The Pet segment supplies products for dogs and cats comprising edible bones, edible and non-edible chews, rawhide, dog and cat food and treats, toys, pet carriers, grooming supplies, and other accessories; and food, cages and habitats, toys, chews, and related accessories for birds, small animals, and specialty pets.
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