Zoetis Inc. (ZTS) Lowered to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research
Zoetis Inc. (NYSE:ZTS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Thursday.
According to Zacks, “Zoetis, one of the leading global animal health companies, is focused on both livestock and companion animals. Performance of the livestock business is concerning. Headwinds remain in the form of disease outbreaks and stiff competition in the animal health space. Zoetis continued to witness a decline in the U.S. sales of swine products in the second quarter of 2016 due to increased competition. Meanwhile, sales of poultry products are declining globally due to competitive pressures. Pipeline setbacks remain a concern as well. However, the company’s companion animal business should continue to perform well. Further, Zoetis’ efforts at boosting operational efficiency bode well. We are positive on Zoetis’ recent acquisition of Scandinavian Micro Biodevices, which should expand its offerings in the growing veterinary diagnostics segment of the animal health market. We expect to see more of such acquisitions/deals at the company.”
A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Bank of America Corp. started coverage on shares of Zoetis in a research report on Thursday, September 29th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $60.00 price target on the stock. Credit Suisse Group AG restated an “outperform” rating and issued a $60.00 price target on shares of Zoetis in a research report on Tuesday, August 23rd. Argus raised their price target on shares of Zoetis from $54.00 to $58.00 and gave the stock a “below average” rating in a research report on Friday, September 9th. Guggenheim restated a “positive” rating and issued a $60.00 price target on shares of Zoetis in a research report on Monday, August 22nd. Finally, Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $60.00 price target on shares of Zoetis in a research report on Wednesday, September 14th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $55.27.
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Shares of Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) traded down 1.09% on Thursday, reaching $50.86. 1,080,200 shares of the company were exchanged. The company has a market capitalization of $25.18 billion, a P/E ratio of 39.61 and a beta of 1.01. Zoetis has a 52-week low of $38.26 and a 52-week high of $53.14. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $51.25 and a 200-day moving average of $48.94.
Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.49 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.44 by $0.05. Zoetis had a net margin of 13.15% and a return on equity of 77.58%. The company had revenue of $1.20 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.17 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.43 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Zoetis will post $1.91 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Stockholders of record on Thursday, November 3rd will be paid a $0.095 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 1st. This represents a $0.38 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.74%. Zoetis’s dividend payout ratio is currently 29.69%.
In other news, insider Andrew Fenton sold 13,870 shares of Zoetis stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 2nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $51.25, for a total value of $710,837.50. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 17,719 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $908,098.75. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Michael B. Mccallister acquired 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, September 6th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $51.34 per share, for a total transaction of $102,680.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in ZTS. Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co. LLC boosted its position in shares of Zoetis by 0.4% in the second quarter. Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co. LLC now owns 6,730 shares of the company’s stock valued at $319,000 after buying an additional 26 shares during the last quarter. Sterneck Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Zoetis by 0.7% in the second quarter. Sterneck Capital Management LLC now owns 5,766 shares of the company’s stock valued at $274,000 after buying an additional 38 shares during the last quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC boosted its position in shares of Zoetis by 1.1% in the second quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC now owns 6,231 shares of the company’s stock valued at $296,000 after buying an additional 65 shares during the last quarter. Fulton Bank N.A. boosted its position in shares of Zoetis by 1.6% in the third quarter. Fulton Bank N.A. now owns 5,279 shares of the company’s stock valued at $275,000 after buying an additional 83 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Jones Financial Companies Lllp boosted its position in shares of Zoetis by 1.9% in the first quarter. Jones Financial Companies Lllp now owns 6,039 shares of the company’s stock valued at $268,000 after buying an additional 114 shares during the last quarter. 93.12% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Zoetis Inc is engaged in the discovery, development, manufacture and commercialization of animal health medicines and vaccines, with a focus on both livestock and companion animals. The Company has a diversified business, marketing products across over eight core species: cattle, swine, poultry, sheep and fish (collectively, livestock), and dogs, cats and horses (collectively, companion animals), and within over five product categories: anti-infectives, vaccines, parasiticides, medicated feed additives and other pharmaceuticals.
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