Dean Foods Company (DF) Upgraded to Hold by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Dean Foods Company (NYSE:DF) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Dean Foods’ shares underperformed the industry in the last three months. While Dean Foods’ in-line earnings in third-quarter 2017 reflects an improvement from the negative earnings trend in preceding three quarters, sales lagged estimates for the second straight quarter. Results were hurt by soft volumes, higher raw milk costs, and loss of share in U.S. fluid milk volumes. Moreover, lost sales volumes and incremental costs related to the recent hurricanes in both Texas and Florida were hindrances. However, the company anticipates to gain from smart volume initiative through the rest of 2017, aimed at improving top line, building margins and creating operating efficiencies. Further, the company’s initiatives to strengthen brands and diversify portfolio bode well. It also remains on track with its comprehensive productivity program, including OpEx 2020, and company-wide initiatives to drive efficiencies.”

Several other brokerages have also recently issued reports on DF. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an underweight rating and set a $15.00 target price (down previously from $18.00) on shares of Dean Foods in a research report on Tuesday, July 18th. Sanford C. Bernstein cut Dean Foods from a market perform rating to an underperform rating and dropped their target price for the company from $18.00 to $13.00 in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Jefferies Group LLC set a $20.00 target price on Dean Foods and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Saturday, July 29th. Vertical Research cut Dean Foods from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co cut Dean Foods from an overweight rating to a neutral rating and dropped their target price for the company from $16.00 to $12.00 in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $13.06.

Shares of Dean Foods (NYSE DF) traded down $0.04 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $9.53. The company had a trading volume of 2,107,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,701,777. Dean Foods has a 52 week low of $9.01 and a 52 week high of $22.31. The company has a market capitalization of $871.56, a PE ratio of 10.40, a P/E/G ratio of 1.69 and a beta of 0.53. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.33, a quick ratio of 0.85 and a current ratio of 1.28.

Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 7th. The company reported $0.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.20. Dean Foods had a return on equity of 14.04% and a net margin of 0.53%. The company had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.97 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.37 earnings per share. Dean Foods’s revenue was down 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts anticipate that Dean Foods will post 0.81 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 5th. Stockholders of record on Monday, November 20th will be given a $0.09 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, November 17th. This represents a $0.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.78%. Dean Foods’s payout ratio is 78.26%.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Dean Foods by 13.8% in the 1st quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 5,670 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after purchasing an additional 686 shares in the last quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Dean Foods by 60.6% in the 2nd quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 6,448 shares of the company’s stock worth $110,000 after purchasing an additional 2,432 shares in the last quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Dean Foods by 62.0% in the 2nd quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 7,128 shares of the company’s stock worth $121,000 after purchasing an additional 2,728 shares in the last quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC boosted its position in shares of Dean Foods by 17.5% in the 2nd quarter. LS Investment Advisors LLC now owns 7,275 shares of the company’s stock worth $124,000 after purchasing an additional 1,081 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Advisor Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Dean Foods by 40.7% in the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 7,857 shares of the company’s stock worth $133,000 after purchasing an additional 2,271 shares in the last quarter.

Dean Foods Company Profile

Dean Foods Company is a food and beverage company. The Company processes and distributes fluid milk, and other dairy and dairy case products in the United States. It is engaged in manufacturing, marketing, selling and distributing a range of branded and private label dairy and dairy case products. It offers branded and private label dairy case products, including fluid milk, ice cream, cultured dairy products, creamers, ice cream mix and other dairy products to retailers, distributors, foodservice outlets, educational institutions and governmental entities across the United States.

Analyst Recommendations for Dean Foods (NYSE:DF)

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