Patterson Cos. (NASDAQ:PDCO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “The Patterson Companies reported impressive first-quarter fiscal 2017 results with strong year-over-year growth in earnings and revenues. Notably, the management reaffirmed its previously issued guidance for fiscal 2017. We remain particularly upbeat about the growth prospects of the company’s Animal Health segment. Livestock end markets had a significant contribution to the Animal Health growth in the reported quarter. We believe, the divestiture of Patterson Medical is also expected to help the company focus on its core business segments and propel better growth in the long run. However unfavorable foreign exchange rate, higher operating expenses and accelerating debt are the major concerns at present for the company.”

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the company. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 price target on shares of Patterson Cos. in a research report on Monday, June 27th. Evercore ISI raised Patterson Cos. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 1st. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Patterson Cos. in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. Stifel Nicolaus restated a “hold” rating on shares of Patterson Cos. in a report on Tuesday, May 31st. Finally, TheStreet downgraded Patterson Cos. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, September 1st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $48.40.

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Patterson Cos. (NASDAQ:PDCO) traded up 1.13% during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $47.33. The stock had a trading volume of 217,797 shares. The company has a market cap of $4.52 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.34 and a beta of 0.88. Patterson Cos. has a 12-month low of $38.51 and a 12-month high of $50.40. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $46.31 and a 200-day moving average price of $46.50.

Patterson Cos. (NASDAQ:PDCO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 25th. The company reported $0.51 EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.51. The firm had revenue of $1.32 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.35 billion. Patterson Cos. had a return on equity of 17.42% and a net margin of 3.52%. Patterson Cos.’s revenue for the quarter was up 15.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.47 EPS. Equities analysts anticipate that Patterson Cos. will post $2.64 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 28th. Stockholders of record on Friday, October 14th will be issued a $0.24 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 12th. This represents a $0.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.05%. Patterson Cos.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 47.29%.

In other news, insider Ann B. Gugino sold 750 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.22, for a total value of $34,665.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 40,153 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,855,871.66. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.46% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in shares of Patterson Cos. during the fourth quarter worth $49,779,000. Parnassus Investments CA increased its stake in shares of Patterson Cos. by 11.4% in the second quarter. Parnassus Investments CA now owns 7,055,974 shares of the company’s stock worth $337,911,000 after buying an additional 724,258 shares during the period. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of Patterson Cos. by 70.4% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 1,678,442 shares of the company’s stock worth $80,380,000 after buying an additional 693,333 shares during the period. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its stake in shares of Patterson Cos. by 460.9% in the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 802,415 shares of the company’s stock worth $38,428,000 after buying an additional 659,350 shares during the period. Finally, Cohen & Steers Inc. increased its stake in shares of Patterson Cos. by 351.5% in the second quarter. Cohen & Steers Inc. now owns 627,731 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,647,000 after buying an additional 488,695 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 77.29% of the company’s stock.

About Patterson Cos.

Patterson Companies, Inc is a distributor serving the dental, veterinary and rehabilitation supply markets. The Company operates through three segments: dental supply, veterinary supply and rehabilitation supply. The dental supply segment provides a range of consumable dental products, clinical and laboratory equipment, and value-added services to dentists, dental laboratories, institutions and other dental healthcare providers across North America.

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