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Pinnacle Foods (NYSE:PF) was downgraded by Stifel Nicolaus from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. They currently have a $18.00 price objective on the stock, down from their previous price objective of $35.88. Stifel Nicolaus’ target price points to a potential downside of 47.78% from the company’s current price.

The analysts wrote, “Hillshire Brands (HSH-$35.76-Not Rated) has agreed to purchase Pinnacle Foods for $18 in cash and 0.5 shares of HSH per share of Pinnacle ($35.88 based on Monday’s closing prices). With the Pinnacle share price pushing up to within 4% or so of the takeover value, we are moving to a Hold rating from Buy. We do not foresee a competitive bid emerging for Pinnacle and given the stock component of the proposed transaction, we think the risk profile has increased.”

Shares of Pinnacle Foods (NYSE:PF) opened at 34.47 on Tuesday. Pinnacle Foods has a 1-year low of $23.37 and a 1-year high of $35.67. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $29.88 and its 200-day moving average is $28.22. The company has a market cap of $4.041 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 42.04.

Pinnacle Foods (NYSE:PF) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, March 6th. The company reported $0.58 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.58. The company had revenue of $709.30 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $718.39 million. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Pinnacle Foods will post $1.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

A number of other firms have also recently commented on PF. Analysts at Deutsche Bank downgraded shares of Pinnacle Foods from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday. They now have a $37.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $32.00. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $30.79.

In other Pinnacle Foods news, CFO Craig Steeneck sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $30.23, for a total transaction of $302,300.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 337,697 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $10,208,580. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link.

Pinnacle Foods Inc is a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of branded food products in North America.

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