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Chiquita Brands International (NYSE: CQB) was downgraded by research analysts at Standpoint Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Monday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports.

The analysts wrote, “There has been good news and a few analyst upgrades recently and I would sell into this strength. There is restructuring, stronger banana prices, reorganization of debt, improving margins, proposed acquisition of competitor Dole by Dole CEO Murdock boosting interest in CQB, and P/S is just 0.2X, among other positives (seemingly priced in by the market in the current quote and with relative strength now above 95).ENDOFPARAGRAPH”Lost in the recent rally (and what is not being given equal attention lately) is the fact that this is a low margin business; sales at $3 bln annually are 33% below 2007 levels and half of the enterprise value is debt. CQB currently has $50 mln in cash with $600 mln in debt.”ENDOFPARAGRAPHMoas said he would “possibly look to reinstate this recommendation on a correction to $10.”

CQB has been the subject of a number of other recent research reports. Analysts at BB&T Corp. upgraded shares of Chiquita Brands International from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note to investors on Monday, June 24th. They now have a $15.00 price target on the stock. Analysts at Janney Montgomery Scott raised their price target on shares of Chiquita Brands International from $11.00 to $16.00 in a research note to investors on Thursday, June 20th.

Shares of Chiquita Brands International (NYSE: CQB) traded up 2.15% during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $11.89. Chiquita Brands International has a 52 week low of $4.65 and a 52 week high of $11.76. The stock’s 50-day moving average is currently $10.57. The company’s market cap is $552.4 million.

Chiquita Brands International (NYSE: CQB) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, May 7th. The company reported $0.05 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the analysts’ consensus estimate of $0.15 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $774.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $777.30 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.04 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.4% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that Chiquita Brands International will post $0.49 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Chiquita Brands International, Inc (NYSE: CQB), along with its subsidiaries, is a marketer and distributor of bananas and other fresh produce, sold under the Chiquita and other names, and of packaged salads sold under the Fresh Express and other names primarily in the United States.

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