Sonoco Products Company (NYSE:SON) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Thursday. The firm currently has a $57.00 price target on the industrial products company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 11.31% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Sonoco's 2017 earnings per share guidance range of $2.73–$2.83 includes a targeted gain of $0.07 per share from acquisitions, including Peninsula Packaging. The Peninsula Packaging acquisition will nearly double Sonoco’s thermoforming business. Sonoco has implemented price increases that will help offset the increased raw material costs. Sonoco remains focused on accelerating organic growth, improving manufacturing productivity and gaining market share. Sonoco has a positve record of earnings surprises in the past few quarters. Sonoco remains committed to executing on its ‘Grow and Optimize’ strategy, which is focused on targeted growth of its Consumer Packaging and Protective Solutions businesses and optimizing its industrial-focused businesses.”

SON has been the subject of a number of other reports. Barclays PLC reiterated an “overweight” rating on shares of Sonoco Products Company in a research note on Friday, April 14th. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $48.00 target price (up from $47.00) on shares of Sonoco Products Company in a research note on Sunday, April 23rd. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Sonoco Products Company from a “strong sell” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 14th. Finally, DA Davidson upgraded shares of Sonoco Products Company from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $48.00 to $54.00 in a research note on Friday, April 21st. Three 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 company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $48.50.

Analyst Recommendations for Sonoco Products Company (NYSE:SON)

Sonoco Products Company (NYSE:SON) traded down 0.342% on Thursday, hitting $51.035. 156,686 shares of the stock traded hands. Sonoco Products Company has a 12 month low of $45.67 and a 12 month high of $55.58. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $51.11 and a 200-day moving average price of $52.84. The company has a market capitalization of $5.07 billion, a PE ratio of 18.545 and a beta of 1.10.

Sonoco Products Company (NYSE:SON) last released its earnings results on Thursday, April 20th. The industrial products company reported $0.59 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.57 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $1.17 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.17 billion. Sonoco Products Company had a net margin of 5.93% and a return on equity of 17.10%. Sonoco Products Company’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.65 EPS. Analysts forecast that Sonoco Products Company will post $2.77 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 9th. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 12th were given a dividend of $0.39 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, May 10th. This is a positive change from Sonoco Products Company’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.37. This represents a $1.56 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.05%. Sonoco Products Company’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 56.52%.

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In other Sonoco Products Company news, VP Marcy J. Thompson sold 940 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, April 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.28, for a total transaction of $50,083.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 8,489 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $452,293.92. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 1.90% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Creative Planning raised its position in Sonoco Products Company by 5.8% in the first quarter. Creative Planning now owns 5,626 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $298,000 after buying an additional 309 shares in the last quarter. CHURCHILL MANAGEMENT Corp raised its position in Sonoco Products Company by 2.0% in the first quarter. CHURCHILL MANAGEMENT Corp now owns 39,036 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $2,066,000 after buying an additional 754 shares in the last quarter. Manning & Napier Advisors LLC raised its position in Sonoco Products Company by 172.3% in the first quarter. Manning & Napier Advisors LLC now owns 49,542 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $2,620,000 after buying an additional 31,345 shares in the last quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC raised its position in Sonoco Products Company by 9.5% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 106,108 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $5,592,000 after buying an additional 9,179 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Norges Bank acquired a new position in Sonoco Products Company during the fourth quarter worth about $46,593,000. 74.49% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Sonoco Products Company Company Profile

Sonoco Products Company is engaged in manufacturing of industrial and consumer packaging products, and providing packaging services. The Company operates in four segments: Consumer Packaging, Paper and Industrial Converted Products, Display and Packaging, and Protective Solutions. Its Consumer Packaging segment’s products and services include round composite cans, aluminum, steel and peelable membrane easy-open closures for composite and metal cans; plastic bottles, cups and trays, and printed flexible packaging and global brand management.

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