Mondelez International (MDLZ) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Sell”

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Mondelez International (NASDAQ:MDLZ) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Mondelez lost 3.7% year-to-date. Earnings estimates for the current quarter and year remained stable over the last 60 days, limiting upside potential. Mondelez’s volumes have been hurt since 2014 by the elasticity impact from higher pricing and category weakness because of soft consumer demand. Moreover, with a significant portion of its sales coming from the international markets, currency is a top-line headwind. Though the company’s focus on innovation and cost saving initiatives are encouraging, we await better visibility.”

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Several other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on the company. BidaskClub cut Mondelez International from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Friday, January 5th. Barclays restated a buy rating and set a $50.00 target price on shares of Mondelez International in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Piper Jaffray set a $50.00 target price on Mondelez International and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, January 18th. Bank of America raised their target price on Mondelez International from $50.00 to $56.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, February 1st. Finally, Societe Generale upgraded Mondelez International from a hold rating to a buy rating and raised their target price for the stock from $45.00 to $55.00 in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating, thirteen have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $50.38.

Mondelez International stock opened at $41.48 on Wednesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $61,694.36, a P/E ratio of 19.29, a PEG ratio of 1.41 and a beta of 0.87. Mondelez International has a 12-month low of $39.19 and a 12-month high of $47.23. The company has a current ratio of 0.48, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.50.

Mondelez International (NASDAQ:MDLZ) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, January 31st. The company reported $0.57 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.56 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $6.97 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.98 billion. Mondelez International had a return on equity of 12.72% and a net margin of 11.28%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 2.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.47 earnings per share. equities analysts predict that Mondelez International will post 2.47 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Mondelez International declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Wednesday, January 31st that allows the company to buyback $6.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, April 12th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 29th will be issued a dividend of $0.22 per share. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.12%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, March 28th. Mondelez International’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 41.12%.

In other news, EVP Hubert Weber sold 10,931 shares of Mondelez International stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.79, for a total transaction of $478,668.49. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 160,865 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,044,278.35. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Charles E. Bunch acquired 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 16th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $43.90 per share, for a total transaction of $87,800.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 3.60% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC lifted its holdings in shares of Mondelez International by 3,206.0% during the 4th quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 44,532 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,906,000 after purchasing an additional 43,185 shares in the last quarter. Sand Hill Global Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Mondelez International during the 3rd quarter valued at about $4,113,000. Timber Hill LLC bought a new position in shares of Mondelez International during the 4th quarter valued at about $4,451,000. Keybank National Association OH lifted its holdings in shares of Mondelez International by 3.4% during the 3rd quarter. Keybank National Association OH now owns 1,040,550 shares of the company’s stock valued at $42,309,000 after purchasing an additional 34,038 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Swiss National Bank raised its position in Mondelez International by 0.4% in the 3rd quarter. Swiss National Bank now owns 5,598,377 shares of the company’s stock valued at $227,630,000 after buying an additional 20,500 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 75.86% of the company’s stock.

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About Mondelez International

Mondelez International, Inc, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets snack food and beverage products worldwide. It offers biscuits, including cookies, crackers, and salted snacks; chocolates; gums and candies; coffee and powdered beverages; and cheese and grocery products. The company's primary snack brand portfolio includes Nabisco, Oreo, LU, and belVita biscuits; Cadbury, Milka, Cadbury Dairy Milk, and Toblerone chocolates; Trident gums; Halls candies; and Tang powdered beverages.

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