Brown-Forman (BF.B) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Brown-Forman (NYSE:BF.B) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Brown-Forman surpassed the industry in the past month backed by robust earnings surprise trend that continued in third-quarter fiscal 2019. Notably, the company has reported earnings beat for seven consecutive quarters. Moreover, underlying sales improved for the 10th straight quarter in fiscal third quarter owing to broad-based growth across geographies and balanced contribution from its portfolio of brands. Further, the company is confident of capitalizing on its American Whiskey strategy while benefiting from investments in its brands’ portfolio. However, tariff-related costs continued to hurt gross margins in the fiscal third quarter, which is likely to continue in the fiscal fourth quarter. Further, underlying net sales began witnessing the pinch of tariff-costs in the fiscal third quarter, in addition to prior impacts on cost of sales and gross margin. Additionally, unfavorable currency rates remain a headwind.”

A number of other equities analysts have also commented on BF.B. ValuEngine lowered Brown-Forman from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 15th. Jefferies Financial Group restated a hold rating and set a $47.00 price objective on shares of Brown-Forman in a research note on Thursday, December 13th. UBS Group assumed coverage on Brown-Forman in a research note on Thursday, December 13th. They set a neutral rating and a $48.00 price objective on the stock. Pivotal Research restated a buy rating and set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Brown-Forman in a research note on Wednesday, December 5th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group lowered Brown-Forman from a neutral rating to a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 8th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $54.33.

NYSE:BF.B opened at $50.19 on Monday. The company has a market cap of $24.08 billion, a P/E ratio of 33.91, a PEG ratio of 3.30 and a beta of 0.65. The company has a quick ratio of 1.43, a current ratio of 3.08 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.54. Brown-Forman has a 1-year low of $44.57 and a 1-year high of $59.58.

Brown-Forman (NYSE:BF.B) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, March 6th. The company reported $0.47 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.44 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $904.00 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $910.71 million. Brown-Forman had a return on equity of 55.41% and a net margin of 23.73%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.44 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Brown-Forman will post 1.7 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, April 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, March 4th will be paid a $0.166 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, March 1st. This represents a $0.66 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.32%. Brown-Forman’s payout ratio is 44.59%.

Brown-Forman Company Profile

Brown-Forman Corporation manufactures, bottles, imports, exports, markets, and sells various alcoholic beverages worldwide. It provides spirits, wines, ready-to-drink cocktails, whiskeys, vodkas, tequilas, champagnes, brandy, and liqueurs. The company offers its products primarily under the Jack Daniel's, Gentleman Jack, Woodford Reserve, Korbel, Finlandia, el Jimador, Herradura, Sonoma-Cutrer, Canadian Mist, GlenDronach, BenRiach, Glenglassaugh, Chambord, Old Forester, Early Times, Pepe Lopez, Antiguo, Slane Irish, and Coopers' Craft brands.

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