TreeHouse Foods Inc. (THS) Lowered to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of TreeHouse Foods Inc. (NYSE:THS) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Estimates have been largely unchanged since Treehouse reported second quarter 2016 earnings release. While the company posted in-line earnings, net sales missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 2.5%. It is encouraging that the company is in the process of cutting costs and improving efficiency. It is closing and consolidating facilities, which will help maintain margins. The buyout of the private brands operations of ConAgra Foods and favorable volume/mix, primarily in the North American Retail Grocery segment will boost sales. However, lower margin structure of the acquired business of private brands will hurt gross margins and would hurt profits. Further, the company anticipates the overall food industry to face weakness and expects full year revenues for the industry to remain flat. Foreign exchange headwinds will also continue to challenge margins.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on THS. Susquehanna reiterated a buy rating on shares of TreeHouse Foods in a research report on Sunday, July 17th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a market perform rating and set a $98.00 target price on shares of TreeHouse Foods in a research report on Friday, August 5th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. set a $119.00 price objective on shares of TreeHouse Foods and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, August 5th. Finally, Jefferies Group restated a buy rating on shares of TreeHouse Foods in a research report on Monday, August 1st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company. TreeHouse Foods currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $107.71.

Analyst Recommendations for TreeHouse Foods (NYSE:THS)

TreeHouse Foods (NYSE:THS) traded down 0.79% on Thursday, reaching $86.69. 179,726 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. TreeHouse Foods has a 52-week low of $66.30 and a 52-week high of $104.53. The stock has a market capitalization of $4.92 billion, a PE ratio of 55.22 and a beta of 0.40. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $90.53 and its 200 day moving average is $93.50.

TreeHouse Foods (NYSE:THS) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, August 4th. The company reported $0.54 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.54. The business earned $1.50 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.58 billion. TreeHouse Foods had a net margin of 1.74% and a return on equity of 6.18%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 103.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.66 EPS. Analysts forecast that TreeHouse Foods will post $3.07 EPS for the current year.

In other TreeHouse Foods news, VP Thomas Emmet Oneill III sold 6,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.00, for a total transaction of $582,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 145,138 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $14,078,386. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Company insiders own 3.40% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of THS. Advisor Group Inc. acquired a new position in TreeHouse Foods during the second quarter worth about $187,000. DIAM Co. Ltd. acquired a new position in TreeHouse Foods during the second quarter worth about $195,000. Chevy Chase Trust Holdings Inc. acquired a new position in TreeHouse Foods during the third quarter worth about $200,000. Independence Advisors LLC acquired a new position in TreeHouse Foods during the second quarter worth about $205,000. Finally, Seven Eight Capital LLC boosted its position in TreeHouse Foods by 5,833.3% in the second quarter. Seven Eight Capital LLC now owns 2,136 shares of the company’s stock worth $219,000 after buying an additional 2,100 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 84.69% of the company’s stock.

TreeHouse Foods Company Profile

TreeHouse Foods, Inc is a consumer packaged food and beverage manufacturing company. The Company’s segments include North American Retail Grocery, Food Away From Home, and Industrial and Export. It manufactures a range of shelf stable, refrigerated and fresh products. Its product categories include beverages, salad dressings, snacks, beverage enhancers, pickles, Mexican and other sauces, soup and infant feeding, cereals, dry dinners, aseptic products, jams and other products.

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