Sonoco Products Co. (NYSE:SON) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “For the third quarter, Sonoco expects earnings per share in the range of $0.65–$0.70. Tough market conditions are expected to hurt its corrugating medium operations. Some of its consumer-product customers seem to be struggling to grow packaged food volumes in certain served markets. For 2016, Sonoco guides EPS in the range of $2.68–$2.74. Impact of the loss of a contract on the Display and Packaging segment and the effect of a manufacturing slowdown in the U.S. on the industrial businesses remain near-term concerns. Moreover, stronger dollar, less favorable price cost variance and the slowdown in manufacturing in the U.S. and emerging markets remain near term headwinds for Sonoco.”
Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Deutsche Bank AG set a $42.00 target price on Sonoco Products and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Sunday, July 24th. Jefferies Group lifted their price target on Sonoco Products from $42.00 to $46.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 14th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $46.00 price target on shares of Sonoco Products in a research report on Friday, July 22nd. Vertical Group lowered Sonoco Products from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, July 25th. Finally, Vertical Research lowered Sonoco Products from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, July 22nd. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $46.25.
Sonoco Products (NYSE:SON) opened at 50.93 on Tuesday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $51.99 and its 200-day moving average price is $49.48. Sonoco Products has a 12 month low of $36.56 and a 12 month high of $53.57. The stock has a market cap of $5.11 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.14 and a beta of 1.01.
Sonoco Products (NYSE:SON) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 21st. The company reported $0.73 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.05. The firm earned $1.21 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.26 billion. Sonoco Products had a return on equity of 17.66% and a net margin of 4.37%. The firm’s revenue was down 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.68 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Sonoco Products will post $2.72 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 9th. Investors of record on Friday, August 12th were issued a dividend of $0.37 per share. This represents a $1.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.91%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, August 10th. Sonoco Products’s dividend payout ratio is presently 69.81%.
In related news, VP Vicki B. Arthur sold 1,721 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.00, for a total transaction of $87,771.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 39,753 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,027,403. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, CEO Mancil J. Sanders sold 16,254 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.00, for a total value of $845,208.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 187,296 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,739,392. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 1.90% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. CT Mason raised its position in shares of Sonoco Products by 115.6% in the third quarter. CT Mason now owns 52,777 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,788,000 after buying an additional 28,301 shares in the last quarter. Mason Street Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Sonoco Products during the second quarter worth $2,282,000. Calvert Investment Management Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Sonoco Products during the second quarter worth $676,000. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Sonoco Products by 6.9% in the second quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 481,819 shares of the company’s stock worth $23,928,000 after buying an additional 31,289 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Lowe Brockenbrough & Co. Inc. raised its position in shares of Sonoco Products by 1.1% in the second quarter. Lowe Brockenbrough & Co. Inc. now owns 6,495 shares of the company’s stock worth $323,000 after buying an additional 70 shares in the last quarter. 68.99% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
About Sonoco Products
Sonoco Products Company (Sonoco) is a manufacturer of industrial and consumer packaging products and a provider of packaging services. The Company operates in four segments: Consumer Packaging, Paper and Industrial Converted Products, Display and Packaging, and Protective Solutions. Its Consumer Packaging segment’s products and services include round composite cans, aluminum, steel and peelable membrane easy-open closures for composite and metal cans; plastic bottles, cups and trays, and printed flexible packaging and global brand management.
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