Zacks Investment Research Lowers Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO) from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Friday, January 12th.

According to Zacks, “Flowers Foods is one of the largest producers of packaged bakery foods in the United States. The company operates more than 40 highly efficient bakeries that produce a wide range of bakery food for retail and foodservice customers in the U.S. The company maintains some of the most efficient and technologically advanced bakeries in the country and has a team of outstanding employees and associates. Each bakery operates as a separate subsidiary of the company and has its own president, human resources director, and controller. Fresh breads, buns, rolls, snack cakes, and tortillas are available to approximately 80% of the U.S. population through the company’s direct-store delivery (DSD) network. “

Other research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Pivotal Research upgraded shares of Flowers Foods from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $23.00 target price on the stock in a report on Thursday, November 9th. SunTrust Banks reiterated a hold rating and set a $20.00 target price on shares of Flowers Foods in a report on Friday, November 10th. BMO Capital Markets restated a hold rating and issued a $19.00 price target on shares of Flowers Foods in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Finally, TheStreet cut shares of Flowers Foods from a b- rating to a c rating in a report on Thursday, November 9th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $21.20.

Shares of Flowers Foods (NYSE FLO) opened at $19.34 on Friday. Flowers Foods has a 12 month low of $16.80 and a 12 month high of $21.00. The stock has a market cap of $4,053.86, a price-to-earnings ratio of 48.35, a P/E/G ratio of 3.27 and a beta of 1.04. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.71, a quick ratio of 1.01 and a current ratio of 1.28.

Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, November 8th. The company reported $0.23 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.20 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $932.80 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $915.55 million. Flowers Foods had a negative net margin of 3.60% and a negative return on equity of 11.88%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.21 earnings per share. equities analysts forecast that Flowers Foods will post 0.86 EPS for the current year.

In other news, CFO R Steve Kinsey sold 116,067 shares of Flowers Foods stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.39, for a total transaction of $2,250,539.13. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Stephen R. Avera sold 68,908 shares of Flowers Foods stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.33, for a total transaction of $1,331,991.64. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 553,989 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,708,607.37. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 448,016 shares of company stock valued at $8,588,807 over the last three months. 15.81% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Systematic Financial Management LP acquired a new stake in Flowers Foods in the 2nd quarter valued at $1,555,000. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Flowers Foods by 2.4% during the 3rd quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 152,873 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,876,000 after purchasing an additional 3,633 shares during the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. boosted its stake in Flowers Foods by 7.3% during the 3rd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 673,943 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,677,000 after purchasing an additional 45,909 shares during the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted its stake in Flowers Foods by 12.4% during the 2nd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 266,192 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,608,000 after purchasing an additional 29,320 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Hamlin Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Flowers Foods by 15.8% during the 3rd quarter. Hamlin Capital Management LLC now owns 3,860,784 shares of the company’s stock worth $72,621,000 after purchasing an additional 525,394 shares during the last quarter. 66.38% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Flowers Foods Company Profile

Flowers Foods, Inc is a producer and marketer of packaged bakery products. The Company operates in two segments: direct-store-delivery segment (DSD Segment) and warehouse delivery segment (Warehouse Segment). The DSD segment produces fresh breads, buns, rolls, tortillas and snack cakes sold primarily by a network of independent distributors to retail and foodservice customers in the areas of the United States: East, South, Southwest, California, and select markets in the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, Nevada, and Colorado.

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