Pilgrim’s Pride (PPC) Upgraded to “Hold” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Pilgrim’s Pride (NASDAQ:PPC) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Over the past three months, Pilgrim’s Pride’s shares have underperformed the industry. The company’s first-quarter 2018 adjusted earnings of 53 cents per share missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by a penny. Elevated demand for plant-based protein products might dampen results of meat-product companies like Pilgrim’s Pride. Furthermore, prevalent headwinds like stiff industry rivalry remain causes of concern. However, successful integration activities of the Moy Park buyout will likely help in boosting the company’s European business, going forward. Moreover, premium brands like Del Dia will likely secure sturdier market response in the near term. The company’s unique portfolio strategy is also expected to strengthen its competency, moving ahead.”

PPC has been the subject of several other research reports. ValuEngine cut shares of Pilgrim’s Pride from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, May 2nd. Mizuho initiated coverage on shares of Pilgrim’s Pride in a report on Wednesday, March 28th. They set a buy rating and a $29.00 price target for the company. TheStreet cut shares of Pilgrim’s Pride from a b- rating to a c rating in a report on Thursday, May 10th. BidaskClub cut shares of Pilgrim’s Pride from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Tuesday, January 16th. Finally, Morgan Stanley set a $25.00 price target on shares of Pilgrim’s Pride and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, February 27th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $28.60.

NASDAQ PPC traded up $0.23 on Wednesday, hitting $21.38. 15,462 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,361,610. The company has a quick ratio of 0.87, a current ratio of 1.80 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.29. Pilgrim’s Pride has a fifty-two week low of $20.81 and a fifty-two week high of $21.21. The stock has a market capitalization of $5.17 billion, a PE ratio of 7.32 and a beta of 0.20.

Pilgrim’s Pride (NASDAQ:PPC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 10th. The company reported $0.53 EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.53. Pilgrim’s Pride had a net margin of 6.84% and a return on equity of 44.25%. The company had revenue of $2.75 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.65 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.38 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 10.8% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts expect that Pilgrim’s Pride will post 3 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Pilgrim’s Pride news, CEO William W. Lovette sold 100,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.36, for a total transaction of $2,536,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 578,653 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,674,640.08. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. 78.81% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in PPC. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its holdings in shares of Pilgrim’s Pride by 4.3% in the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 934,475 shares of the company’s stock valued at $26,548,000 after purchasing an additional 38,754 shares in the last quarter. Convergence Investment Partners LLC increased its holdings in shares of Pilgrim’s Pride by 659.8% in the 4th quarter. Convergence Investment Partners LLC now owns 108,645 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,375,000 after purchasing an additional 94,345 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can increased its holdings in shares of Pilgrim’s Pride by 127,713.9% in the 4th quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 129,092 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,009,000 after purchasing an additional 128,991 shares in the last quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Pilgrim’s Pride by 226.5% in the 4th quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 10,513 shares of the company’s stock valued at $326,000 after purchasing an additional 7,293 shares in the last quarter. Finally, State of Alaska Department of Revenue purchased a new position in shares of Pilgrim’s Pride in the 4th quarter valued at about $120,000. Institutional investors own 25.47% of the company’s stock.

About Pilgrim’s Pride

Pilgrim's Pride Corporation engages in the production, processing, marketing, and distribution of fresh, frozen, and value-added chicken products in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe, and Mexico. The company offers fresh chicken products, including pre-marinated or non-marinated refrigerated (nonfrozen) whole or cut-up chicken; and prepackaged case-ready chicken, such as whole chickens and chicken parts.

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