Central Garden & Pet Co. (NASDAQ:CENT)’s share price dropped 3.2% during trading on Tuesday . The company traded as low as $23.77 and last traded at $23.88, with a volume of 124,189 shares. The stock had previously closed at $24.67.

CENT has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. SunTrust Banks Inc. raised shares of Central Garden & Pet Co. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, June 16th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Central Garden & Pet Co. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, July 5th. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Central Garden & Pet Co. in a report on Friday, August 26th. Finally, Sidoti started coverage on shares of Central Garden & Pet Co. in a report on Wednesday, August 17th. They issued a “neutral” rating on the stock. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, one has given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Central Garden & Pet Co. presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $22.50.

The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $25.74 and its 200 day moving average price is $20.63. The firm has a market capitalization of $1.22 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.47 and a beta of 0.75.

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Central Garden & Pet Co. (NASDAQ:CENT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $0.48 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.43 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $514.54 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $490.85 million. Central Garden & Pet Co. had a net margin of 2.54% and a return on equity of 11.04%. The firm’s revenue was up 12.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.38 earnings per share. Equities analysts forecast that Central Garden & Pet Co. will post $1.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other Central Garden & Pet Co. news, Director John Ranelli sold 7,886 shares of Central Garden & Pet Co. stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $22.77, for a total transaction of $179,564.22. Following the transaction, the director now owns 96,379 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,194,549.83. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Chairman William E. Brown sold 50,000 shares of Central Garden & Pet Co. stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.25, for a total transaction of $1,262,500.00. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 2,338,002 shares in the company, valued at approximately $59,034,550.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 13.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. FMR LLC purchased a new position in shares of Central Garden & Pet Co. during the second quarter valued at $6,865,000. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its position in shares of Central Garden & Pet Co. by 64.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 650,701 shares of the company’s stock valued at $14,856,000 after buying an additional 253,957 shares in the last quarter. Royce & Associates LP increased its position in shares of Central Garden & Pet Co. by 30.5% in the first quarter. Royce & Associates LP now owns 864,545 shares of the company’s stock valued at $14,127,000 after buying an additional 201,869 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its position in shares of Central Garden & Pet Co. by 450.8% in the second quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 191,201 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,365,000 after buying an additional 156,486 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Axiom International Investors LLC DE purchased a new position in shares of Central Garden & Pet Co. during the second quarter valued at $3,287,000. 19.02% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Central Garden & Pet Co.

Central Garden & Pet Company is a marketer and producer of branded products, and distributor of third party products to pet, and lawn and garden supplies industries. The Company’s segments are Pet and Garden. Its Pet segment is engaged in the manufacturing, purchase, sale and delivery of internally and externally produced pet supplies, books and food to independent pet distributors, national and regional retail chains, grocery stores, mass merchants and bookstores.

5 Day Chart for NASDAQ:CENT

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