Sonoco Products Company (NYSE:SON) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Sonoco Products Company (NYSE:SON) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Wednesday, October 18th.

According to Zacks, “For 2017, Sonoco projects earnings per share in the range of $2.73–$2.80 . The mid-point of the guidance reflects a year-over-year growth of 1.7%. The complementary acquisitions of Clear Lam Packaging and Peninsula Packaging significantly expand Sonoco’s flexible packaging and thermoforming plastics capabilities to meet growing consumer demand for more fresh and healthy foods. Additionally, it remains focused on accelerating organic growth, improving manufacturing productivity and gaining market share. The company has a mixed record of earnings surprises in the last few quarters. However, weak volumes in Consumer Packaging, higher input costs remain concerns. Sonoco has underperformed the industry in the past year.”

Other research analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Barclays PLC restated an “underweight” rating and issued a $48.00 target price (up from $45.00) on shares of Sonoco Products in a report on Monday, July 24th. Robert W. Baird upgraded shares of Sonoco Products from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their target price for the company from $55.00 to $60.00 in a report on Wednesday, July 19th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Sonoco Products in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. Vertical Research lowered shares of Sonoco Products from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, July 21st. Finally, Bank of America Corporation upped their target price on shares of Sonoco Products from $55.00 to $56.00 and gave the company an “underperform” rating in a report on Friday, July 21st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $52.00.

Shares of Sonoco Products (NYSE:SON) traded down 0.55% during midday trading on Wednesday, hitting $51.97. 437,954 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $50.47 and a 200-day moving average of $50.48. Sonoco Products has a 52-week low of $47.10 and a 52-week high of $55.58. The company has a market cap of $5.17 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.73 and a beta of 1.13.

Sonoco Products (NYSE:SON) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 19th. The industrial products company reported $0.76 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $1.32 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.27 billion. Sonoco Products had a net margin of 5.63% and a return on equity of 16.40%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 9.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.72 EPS. On average, equities analysts predict that Sonoco Products will post $2.79 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other Sonoco Products news, CFO Barry L. Saunders sold 5,645 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, October 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.39, for a total value of $295,741.55. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 60,455 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,167,237.45. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, VP Marcy J. Thompson sold 565 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.00, for a total transaction of $28,815.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 6,937 shares of company stock worth $363,088 in the last 90 days. 1.90% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Harfst & Associates Inc. acquired a new stake in Sonoco Products in the second quarter valued at approximately $126,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank grew its position in Sonoco Products by 18.6% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,752 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $193,000 after acquiring an additional 589 shares in the last quarter. Seven Eight Capital LP acquired a new stake in Sonoco Products in the second quarter valued at approximately $206,000. Tudor Investment Corp ET AL acquired a new stake in Sonoco Products in the second quarter valued at approximately $220,000. Finally, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. grew its position in Sonoco Products by 8.9% in the first quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 4,190 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $222,000 after acquiring an additional 342 shares in the last quarter. 71.74% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Sonoco Products

Sonoco Products Company is engaged in manufacturing of industrial and consumer packaging products, and providing packaging services. The Company operates in four segments: Consumer Packaging, Paper and Industrial Converted Products, Display and Packaging, and Protective Solutions. Its Consumer Packaging segment’s products and services include round composite cans, aluminum, steel and peelable membrane easy-open closures for composite and metal cans; plastic bottles, cups and trays, and printed flexible packaging and global brand management.

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