TreeHouse Foods (THS) Lifted to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of TreeHouse Foods (NYSE:THS) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Wednesday, January 10th.

According to Zacks, “Grocery woes like stiff competition, difficult pricing and sluggish store traffic are making things tough for TreeHouse Foods that has lagged the industry in the past year. This is quite evident from its third-quarter 2017 results, wherein both top and bottom lines fell year over year and the latter came much below expectations. Apart from the aforementioned factors, the divestiture of the SIF business also impacted results, by denting the top line. Additionally, higher freight and commodity costs weighed on the operating income. Nevertheless, TreeHouse Foods is making attempts to enhance its operational performance and reduce cost structure through its TreeHouse 2020 strategy. Notably, this initiative is expected to improve the company’s operating margin by 300 bps by the end of 2020. Moreover, the company has been undertaking acquisitions to augment its portfolio, alongside of enhanced focus on organic food offerings.”

Other analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Bank of America assumed coverage on TreeHouse Foods in a research report on Tuesday, September 19th. They set a neutral rating and a $68.00 price objective for the company. Jefferies Group restated a buy rating and set a $100.00 price objective on shares of TreeHouse Foods in a research report on Tuesday, September 26th. Credit Suisse Group set a $68.00 target price on TreeHouse Foods and gave the company a neutral rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 31st. BMO Capital Markets dropped their target price on TreeHouse Foods to $50.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus downgraded TreeHouse Foods from a buy rating to a hold rating and dropped their target price for the company from $84.00 to $44.00 in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. TreeHouse Foods presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $59.90.

TreeHouse Foods (THS) traded up $0.86 on Wednesday, reaching $49.73. The company had a trading volume of 866,700 shares, compared to its average volume of 705,980. The company has a current ratio of 2.16, a quick ratio of 0.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01. TreeHouse Foods has a twelve month low of $40.26 and a twelve month high of $90.42. The company has a market cap of $2,860.00, a PE ratio of -11.03, a PEG ratio of 2.66 and a beta of 0.49.

TreeHouse Foods (NYSE:THS) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 2nd. The company reported $0.67 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.78 by ($0.11). The firm had revenue of $1.55 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.52 billion. TreeHouse Foods had a negative net margin of 4.06% and a positive return on equity of 6.61%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 2.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $0.70 earnings per share. analysts predict that TreeHouse Foods will post 2.73 earnings per share for the current year.

TreeHouse Foods announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Thursday, November 2nd that permits the company to repurchase $400.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, Director Gary Dale Smith bought 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 7th. The shares were bought at an average price of $42.64 per share, with a total value of $85,280.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 271 shares in the company, valued at $11,555.44. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CEO Sam K. Reed sold 11,480 shares of TreeHouse Foods stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, January 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.72, for a total value of $570,785.60. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 81,147 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,034,628.84. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 36,440 shares of company stock valued at $1,684,179 in the last three months. Insiders own 3.50% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Sterling Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in TreeHouse Foods by 0.5% during the second quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC now owns 3,047 shares of the company’s stock worth $249,000 after acquiring an additional 14 shares during the period. Comerica Securities Inc. raised its stake in shares of TreeHouse Foods by 1.2% in the second quarter. Comerica Securities Inc. now owns 3,757 shares of the company’s stock valued at $307,000 after buying an additional 45 shares during the period. M&T Bank Corp raised its stake in shares of TreeHouse Foods by 4.3% in the second quarter. M&T Bank Corp now owns 4,723 shares of the company’s stock valued at $386,000 after buying an additional 194 shares during the period. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its stake in shares of TreeHouse Foods by 11.2% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,982 shares of the company’s stock valued at $162,000 after buying an additional 199 shares during the period. Finally, Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. raised its stake in shares of TreeHouse Foods by 1.8% in the second quarter. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. now owns 17,039 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,392,000 after buying an additional 296 shares during the period.

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TreeHouse Foods Company Profile

TreeHouse Foods, Inc is a consumer packaged food and beverage manufacturer. The Company’s segments include North American Retail Grocery, Food Away From Home, and Industrial and Export. The Company manufactures a range of shelf stable, refrigerated, fresh and frozen products. Its product categories include beverages, salad dressings, snack nuts, beverage enhancers, pickles, sauces, cereals, pasta and dry dinners, cookies and crackers, retail bakery, aseptic products, jams and other products.

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