Hostess Brands (NASDAQ:TWNK) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Hostess Brands (NASDAQ:TWNK) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Saturday, January 20th. The brokerage currently has a $16.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 23.84% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Hostess Brands, Inc. is involved in developing, manufacturing, marketing, selling and distributing sweet goods primarily in the United States. The company produces new and classic treats which includes Ding Dongs, Ho Hos, Donettes, Fruit Pies as well as Twinkies and CupCakes. Hostess Brands, Inc. is based in Kansas City, Missouri. “

Other analysts have also issued reports about the company. BidaskClub lowered Hostess Brands from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, January 19th. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “buy” rating and issued a $18.00 price target on shares of Hostess Brands in a report on Friday, December 22nd. SunTrust Banks boosted their price target on Hostess Brands to $20.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, December 18th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Morgan Stanley lowered their target price on Hostess Brands from $14.00 to $12.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, November 9th. Finally, UBS Group downgraded Hostess Brands from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and lowered their target price for the company from $16.00 to $11.00 in a research report on Friday, October 13th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, four have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $16.78.

Hostess Brands (NASDAQ:TWNK) traded up $0.08 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $12.92. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,045,589 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,023,145. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.77, a quick ratio of 1.88 and a current ratio of 2.18. Hostess Brands has a 52-week low of $11.00 and a 52-week high of $17.18.

In other news, insider Cdm Hostess Class C, Llc sold 31,685 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $15.30, for a total value of $484,780.50. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 31,685 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $484,780.50. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CEO William Douglas Toler bought 50,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 24th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $12.88 per share, for a total transaction of $644,000.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 250,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,220,000. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 25.50% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Ameritas Investment Partners Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Hostess Brands in the second quarter valued at approximately $113,000. Segall Bryant & Hamill LLC bought a new stake in shares of Hostess Brands in the third quarter valued at approximately $150,000. ArrowMark Colorado Holdings LLC bought a new stake in shares of Hostess Brands in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $158,000. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its stake in shares of Hostess Brands by 896.1% in the second quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 9,881 shares of the company’s stock valued at $159,000 after buying an additional 8,889 shares during the period. Finally, Amalgamated Bank bought a new stake in shares of Hostess Brands in the fourth quarter valued at approximately $159,000. 73.71% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Hostess Brands

Hostess Brands, Inc, a packaged food company, focuses on developing, manufacturing, marketing, selling, and distributing fresh sweet baked goods in the United States. The company operates in two segments, Sweet Baked Goods and Other. Its principal product lines include Twinkies, Zingers, Donettes, coffee cakes, cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, Ding Dongs, honey buns, fruit pies, Sno Balls, mini muffins, Chocodiles, Ho Hos, brownies, Suzy Qs, bread and buns, danishes, jumbo muffins, iced cookies, eclairs, and madeleines.

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