Pilgrim’s Pride (PPC) Cut to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Pilgrim’s Pride (NASDAQ:PPC) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Over the past three months, Pilgrim’s Pride’s shares have underperformed the industry. The company’s first-quarter 2018 adjusted earnings of 53 cents per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. Elevated demand for plant-based protein products might dampen results of meat-product companies like Pilgrim’s Pride. Furthermore, prevalent headwinds like stiff industry rivalry remain causes of concern. However, successful integration activities of the Moy Park buyout will likely help in boosting the company’s European business, going forward. Moreover, premium brands like Del Dia will likely secure sturdier market response in the near term. The company’s unique portfolio strategy is also expected to strengthen its competency, moving ahead.”

Several other equities analysts have also issued reports on PPC. BMO Capital Markets decreased their price target on Pilgrim’s Pride to $31.00 and set a market perform rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, February 16th. Morgan Stanley set a $25.00 price target on Pilgrim’s Pride and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, February 27th. Vertical Group upgraded Pilgrim’s Pride from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, March 14th. Mizuho initiated coverage on Pilgrim’s Pride in a research note on Wednesday, March 28th. They issued a buy rating and a $29.00 price target on the stock. Finally, ValuEngine lowered Pilgrim’s Pride from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Monday, April 2nd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $27.80.

Shares of NASDAQ PPC opened at $21.06 on Tuesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $5.19 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 7.29 and a beta of 0.20. The company has a quick ratio of 0.94, a current ratio of 1.80 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.29. Pilgrim’s Pride has a fifty-two week low of $20.23 and a fifty-two week high of $38.39.

Pilgrim’s Pride (NASDAQ:PPC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 10th. The company reported $0.53 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.53. The firm had revenue of $2.75 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.65 billion. Pilgrim’s Pride had a return on equity of 44.25% and a net margin of 6.84%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 10.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $0.38 EPS. equities research analysts forecast that Pilgrim’s Pride will post 3.04 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO William W. Lovette sold 100,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.36, for a total transaction of $2,536,000.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 578,653 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,674,640.08. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders own 78.81% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Advisors Preferred LLC bought a new stake in shares of Pilgrim’s Pride in the 1st quarter valued at about $100,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue bought a new stake in shares of Pilgrim’s Pride in the 4th quarter valued at about $120,000. Tiverton Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Pilgrim’s Pride in the 1st quarter valued at about $173,000. Matarin Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Pilgrim’s Pride in the 1st quarter valued at about $254,000. Finally, Glenmede Trust Co. NA grew its position in shares of Pilgrim’s Pride by 96.9% in the 4th quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA now owns 8,361 shares of the company’s stock valued at $259,000 after buying an additional 4,115 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 23.91% of the company’s stock.

About Pilgrim’s Pride

Pilgrim's Pride Corporation engages in the production, processing, marketing, and distribution of fresh, frozen, and value-added chicken products in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, and Mexico. The company offers fresh chicken products, including pre-marinated or non-marinated refrigerated (nonfrozen) whole or cut-up chicken; and prepackaged case-ready chicken, such as whole chickens and chicken parts.

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