Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Central Garden & Pet Co. (CENT) to Hold
Central Garden & Pet Co. (NASDAQ:CENT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “Organic growth, value accretive acquisitions such as that of the pet bedding business, and divestment of non-strategic assets have been aiding Central Garden & Pet’s performance. These initiatives have helped the company to post better-than-expected earnings for the eighth successive quarter, when it reported third-quarter fiscal 2016 results. The company’s top line also surpassed the estimate, thus marking the fifth straight quarter of revenue beat. In fact, the stellar performance in the reported quarter prompted management to raise its earnings outlook for the fiscal year. The company is revamping both its Pet and Garden segments, and also intends to have a balanced approach that encompasses improvement in revenues and profits through operational efficiency as cost reduction. On the flip side, stiff competition and seasonality of garden business remains a concern.”
Other analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. SunTrust Banks Inc. raised shares of Central Garden & Pet Co. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 16th. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Central Garden & Pet Co. in a research report on Friday, August 26th. Finally, Sidoti started coverage on shares of Central Garden & Pet Co. in a research report on Wednesday, August 17th. They set a “neutral” rating for the company. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $22.50.
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Shares of Central Garden & Pet Co. (NASDAQ:CENT) opened at 26.58 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $1.35 billion, a PE ratio of 29.31 and a beta of 0.63. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $25.43 and its 200-day moving average is $21.59. Central Garden & Pet Co. has a 12-month low of $11.67 and a 12-month high of $27.89.
Central Garden & Pet Co. (NASDAQ:CENT) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $0.48 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.05. Central Garden & Pet Co. had a net margin of 2.54% and a return on equity of 11.04%. The company earned $514.54 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $490.85 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.38 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 12.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts expect that Central Garden & Pet Co. will post $1.17 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
In other Central Garden & Pet Co. news, major shareholder William E. Brown sold 41,352 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $23.08, for a total value of $954,404.16. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 2,399,154 shares in the company, valued at approximately $55,372,474.32. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman William E. Brown sold 25,800 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $24.58, for a total value of $634,164.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chairman now owns 2,204,393 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $54,183,979.94. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 13.90% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CENT. Eqis Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in Central Garden & Pet Co. by 46.9% in the third quarter. Eqis Capital Management Inc. now owns 22,925 shares of the company’s stock worth $596,000 after buying an additional 7,323 shares in the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. bought a new position in Central Garden & Pet Co. during the second quarter worth $391,000. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY bought a new position in Central Garden & Pet Co. during the second quarter worth $271,000. Highbridge Capital Management LLC bought a new position in Central Garden & Pet Co. during the second quarter worth $515,000. Finally, Panagora Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in Central Garden & Pet Co. by 26.9% in the second quarter. Panagora Asset Management Inc. now owns 167,348 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,821,000 after buying an additional 35,504 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 19.02% of the company’s stock.
Central Garden & Pet Co. Company Profile
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.
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