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

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Pilgrim’s Pride (NASDAQ:PPC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has $23.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Pilgrim’s Pride earnings and revenues improved on a year-over-year basis in first-quarter 2018. The company believes stronger case-ready and small bird businesses, increased demand for popular brands like Del Dia and robust productivity will reinforce its competency, going forward. Moreover, successful integration activities of the Moy Park buyout will likely help boost the company’s European business. The company’s unique portfolio strategy will also likely aid in driving its revenues and profitability. However, over the past three months, Pilgrim’s Pride’s shares have underperformed the industry. Growing popularity of plant-based protein products over the meat-based ones might have dragged down the stock.”

Several other equities research analysts have also issued reports on the stock. BMO Capital Markets reduced their target price on shares of Pilgrim’s Pride to $31.00 and set a market perform rating for the company in a report on Friday, February 16th. Morgan Stanley set a $25.00 target price on shares of Pilgrim’s Pride and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, February 27th. Mizuho reissued a buy rating and issued a $28.00 target price on shares of Pilgrim’s Pride in a report on Monday, April 23rd. Vertical Group raised shares of Pilgrim’s Pride from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, March 14th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered shares of Pilgrim’s Pride from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, April 2nd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $27.80.

Pilgrim’s Pride opened at $20.84 on Wednesday, MarketBeat.com reports. The company has a market capitalization of $5.24 billion, a P/E ratio of 6.95 and a beta of 0.20. Pilgrim’s Pride has a 12-month low of $20.23 and a 12-month high of $38.39. The company has a quick ratio of 0.94, a current ratio of 1.80 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.29.

Pilgrim’s Pride (NASDAQ:PPC) last released its earnings results on Thursday, May 10th. The company reported $0.53 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.53. The company had revenue of $2.75 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.65 billion. Pilgrim’s Pride had a net margin of 6.84% and a return on equity of 44.25%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 10.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $0.38 EPS. analysts forecast that Pilgrim’s Pride will post 3.04 EPS for the current year.

In other Pilgrim’s Pride news, CEO William W. Lovette sold 100,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.36, for a total value of $2,536,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 578,653 shares in the company, valued at approximately $14,674,640.08. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 78.81% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Advisors Preferred LLC bought a new position in shares of Pilgrim’s Pride during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $100,000. State of Alaska Department of Revenue bought a new position in shares of Pilgrim’s Pride during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $120,000. Tiverton Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Pilgrim’s Pride during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $173,000. Matarin Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Pilgrim’s Pride during the 1st quarter valued at approximately $254,000. Finally, Glenmede Trust Co. NA boosted its position in shares of Pilgrim’s Pride by 96.9% during the 4th quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA now owns 8,361 shares of the company’s stock valued at $259,000 after acquiring an additional 4,115 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 23.91% of the company’s stock.

Pilgrim’s Pride Company Profile

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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