Zacks Investment Research Upgrades SYSCO (SYY) to “Strong-Buy”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of SYSCO (NYSE:SYY) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report report published on Wednesday. They currently have $71.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Sysco Corporation recently outlined its key growth strategies, which will help it achieve its three-year financial goals for fiscal 2020. Sysco's four core strategies include enhancing consumers’ experience; optimising business; stimulating power of its people and achieving operational efficacy. Notably, the company has been gaining from its cost-saving and revenue-management efforts for quite some time now, as evident from its solid past record. These efforts, along with contsant focus on buyouts have helped Sysco surpass the industry in the past three months. However, Sysco's international results in the last reported quarter were hurt by softness in Europe, which is battling slow traffic. Moreover, weak UK currency resulted in food cost inflation, thereby leading to pricing pressure. While these hurdles are likely to persist in fiscal 2018, management expects its U.S. business to be buoyed by higher consumer demand.”

Several other analysts have also recently commented on the stock. Pivotal Research reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $53.00 target price on shares of SYSCO in a research note on Sunday, November 5th. Loop Capital boosted their price objective on shares of SYSCO to $68.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Monday, December 11th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $66.00 price objective on shares of SYSCO and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, December 8th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $59.55.

SYSCO (NYSE SYY) traded up $0.16 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $61.38. 3,026,100 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,057,815. The stock has a market cap of $31,982.42, a PE ratio of 27.90, a P/E/G ratio of 2.45 and a beta of 0.53. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.77, a current ratio of 1.40 and a quick ratio of 0.88. SYSCO has a 12-month low of $48.85 and a 12-month high of $62.79.

SYSCO (NYSE:SYY) last released its earnings results on Monday, November 6th. The company reported $0.74 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.02. The firm had revenue of $14.65 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $14.43 billion. SYSCO had a net margin of 2.12% and a return on equity of 58.47%. SYSCO’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.67 EPS. equities analysts anticipate that SYSCO will post 2.81 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 26th. Stockholders of record on Friday, January 5th will be paid a dividend of $0.36 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, January 4th. This is a boost from SYSCO’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.33. This represents a $1.44 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.35%. SYSCO’s payout ratio is currently 65.45%.

In related news, EVP Wayne Shurts sold 7,800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.86, for a total transaction of $427,908.00. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 58,776 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,224,451.36. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP Greg D. Bertrand sold 81,038 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, January 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.76, for a total transaction of $4,923,868.88. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 69,721 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,236,247.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 321,172 shares of company stock valued at $18,233,905 over the last three months. Corporate insiders own 9.60% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Exane Derivatives boosted its position in SYSCO by 137.8% during the 3rd quarter. Exane Derivatives now owns 48,699 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,627,000 after purchasing an additional 28,217 shares during the period. FDx Advisors Inc. boosted its position in SYSCO by 27.6% during the 3rd quarter. FDx Advisors Inc. now owns 35,396 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,910,000 after purchasing an additional 7,652 shares during the period. Vident Investment Advisory LLC purchased a new stake in SYSCO during the 3rd quarter worth $393,000. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in SYSCO by 20.3% during the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,917,645 shares of the company’s stock worth $146,845,000 after purchasing an additional 491,398 shares during the period. Finally, Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC lifted its holdings in SYSCO by 637.5% in the 3rd quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC now owns 5,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $318,000 after buying an additional 5,100 shares in the last quarter. 80.07% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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SYSCO Company Profile

Sysco Corporation (Sysco) is a distributor of food and related products primarily to the foodservice or food-away-from-home industry. The Company’s segments include Broadline, SYGMA and Other. The Broadline segment includes its Broadline operations located in the Bahamas, Canada, Costa Rica, Ireland, Mexico and the United States.

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