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

According to Zacks, “We remain particularly upbeat about the growth prospects of The Patterson Companies’ Animal Health segment and the recently formed a partnership with Heartland Dental, a significant positive to strengthen the company’s dental business. Additionally Patterson offers a wide range of consumable supplies, equipment, software, and value-added services to its customers, which is likely to enhance the company’s growth trajectory for the long haul. However unfavorable foreign exchange rate, higher operating expenses and accelerating debt are the major concerns at present for the company. Additionally, the U.S. dental products distribution industry is highly competitive and poises a major threat for Patterson. Meanwhile, a glimpse on the estimate trends reveals that estimates are stable for the current year, before the company’s earnings release of second-quarter of fiscal 2017.”

Several other brokerages have also recently issued reports on PDCO. Jefferies Group reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Patterson Cos. in a research note on Thursday, August 4th. Off Wall Street initiated coverage on shares of Patterson Cos. in a research note on Monday, August 8th. They set a “sell” rating on the stock. TheStreet cut shares of Patterson Cos. from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 1st. Bank of America Corp. initiated coverage on shares of Patterson Cos. in a research note on Wednesday, August 24th. They set an “underperform” rating and a $44.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Evercore ISI reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $48.00 price target (down from $49.00) on shares of Patterson Cos. in a research note on Friday, August 26th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $48.40.

Analyst Recommendations for Patterson Cos. (NASDAQ:PDCO)

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Patterson Cos. (NASDAQ:PDCO) traded down 0.51% during trading on Thursday, hitting $45.27. 316,915 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock has a market cap of $4.32 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.32 and a beta of 0.94. The company’s 50 day moving average price is $45.97 and its 200-day moving average price is $46.60. Patterson Cos. has a 52-week low of $38.51 and a 52-week high of $50.40.

Patterson Cos. (NASDAQ:PDCO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 25th. The company reported $0.51 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.51. The company had revenue of $1.32 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.35 billion. Patterson Cos. had a net margin of 3.52% and a return on equity of 17.42%. Patterson Cos.’s revenue was up 15.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $0.47 EPS. Equities research analysts forecast that Patterson Cos. will post $2.67 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 28th. Investors of record on Friday, October 14th will be given a $0.24 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, October 12th. This represents a $0.96 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.11%. Patterson Cos.’s dividend payout ratio is presently 47.29%.

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

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Wellington Management Group LLP raised its position in Patterson Cos. by 3.5% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 2,801,575 shares of the company’s stock worth $130,358,000 after buying an additional 94,184 shares during the period. Palisade Capital Management LLC NJ purchased a new position in Patterson Cos. during the first quarter worth about $2,675,000. Adage Capital Partners GP L.L.C. purchased a new position in Patterson Cos. during the first quarter worth about $2,354,000. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. raised its position in Patterson Cos. by 9.8% in the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 62,504 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,908,000 after buying an additional 5,602 shares during the period. Finally, Toth Financial Advisory Corp raised its position in Patterson Cos. by 3.1% in the second quarter. Toth Financial Advisory Corp now owns 102,899 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,928,000 after buying an additional 3,088 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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