AptarGroup (ATR) Cut to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

AptarGroup (NYSE:ATR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “AptarGroup expects its earnings per share for first-quarter 2018 to be 90-95 cents, reflecting year-over-year growth of 1.6% at the mid-point. AptarGroup expects each segment to report elevated first-quarter revenues over the prior year. The company is poised to gain from its focus on strategies including transformation activities in Beauty + Home segment, strategic M&A and expansion in growth economies. Its Pharma business will benefit from drug delivery innovation. The company has also witnessed positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. Moreover, the stock outperformed the industry over the past year. However, implementation costs related to business-transformation plan as well as elevated raw material costs are expected to hurt AptarGroup's performance.”

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Other analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. ValuEngine raised AptarGroup from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 11th. Robert W. Baird reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $92.00 price target on shares of AptarGroup in a research report on Wednesday, February 14th. Finally, Wells Fargo reissued a “market perform” rating and issued a $90.00 price target (up from $83.00) on shares of AptarGroup in a research report on Wednesday, February 14th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $85.38.

Shares of ATR traded up $0.65 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $94.96. The company had a trading volume of 71,185 shares, compared to its average volume of 291,760. The company has a quick ratio of 2.53, a current ratio of 3.16 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.91. AptarGroup has a 52 week low of $76.94 and a 52 week high of $95.05. The stock has a market cap of $5,760.85, a P/E ratio of 27.60, a P/E/G ratio of 2.88 and a beta of 0.78.

AptarGroup (NYSE:ATR) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, February 12th. The industrial products company reported $0.81 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.71 by $0.10. AptarGroup had a return on equity of 16.97% and a net margin of 8.91%. The firm had revenue of $625.90 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $577.17 million. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.69 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 16.1% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts anticipate that AptarGroup will post 3.78 EPS for the current year.

In related news, Director Stephen J. Hagge sold 25,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $91.17, for a total value of $2,279,250.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 114,613 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,449,267.21. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Eldon W. Schaffer II sold 20,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $90.17, for a total value of $1,803,400.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 52,857 shares in the company, valued at $4,766,115.69. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 186,090 shares of company stock worth $16,807,725 over the last ninety days. 3.40% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in AptarGroup by 2.0% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 5,171,904 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $446,231,000 after acquiring an additional 101,984 shares in the last quarter. Champlain Investment Partners LLC raised its stake in AptarGroup by 8.1% during the 4th quarter. Champlain Investment Partners LLC now owns 1,727,600 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $149,057,000 after buying an additional 129,205 shares during the last quarter. BTIM Corp. raised its stake in AptarGroup by 4.0% during the 4th quarter. BTIM Corp. now owns 986,274 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $85,096,000 after buying an additional 38,201 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its stake in AptarGroup by 4.3% during the 4th quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 723,746 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $62,444,000 after buying an additional 29,580 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in AptarGroup by 2.0% during the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 619,630 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $53,482,000 after buying an additional 12,035 shares during the last quarter. 92.22% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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AptarGroup Company Profile

AptarGroup, Inc is a provider of a range of packaging, dispensing and sealing solutions, primarily for the beauty, personal care, homecare, prescription drug, consumer healthcare, injectables, food and beverage markets. The Company has manufacturing facilities located throughout the world, including North America, Europe, Asia and South America.

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