Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE:EMN) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Eastman Chemical has outperformed the Zacks categorized 'Chemicals-Diversified' industry over the past six months. Eastman Chemical expects adjusted earnings per share to grow 8–12% year over year in 2017. The company remains focused on cost-cutting and productivity actions amid a challenging operating environment. Further, the company should gain from its strategic acquisitions and capacity expansion actions. Eastman Chemical also remains committed to reduce debt and boost shareholder returns leveraging healthy free cash flows. However, Eastman Chemical continues to see pricing pressure which is weighing on its top line. The company is also exposed to currency translation risk.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on the company. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $90.00 target price on shares of Eastman Chemical Company in a research note on Friday, June 16th. BidaskClub raised Eastman Chemical Company from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, June 15th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $85.00 price target on shares of Eastman Chemical Company in a research note on Monday, June 5th. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $92.00 price target on shares of Eastman Chemical Company in a report on Thursday, May 25th. Finally, TheStreet raised shares of Eastman Chemical Company from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a report on Monday, April 17th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $84.73.

Analyst Recommendations for Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE:EMN)

Eastman Chemical Company (EMN) traded up 0.14% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $82.97. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,772,725 shares. The company has a market cap of $12.10 billion, a PE ratio of 13.95 and a beta of 1.32. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $80.32 and a 200 day moving average price of $78.93. Eastman Chemical Company has a 52-week low of $62.70 and a 52-week high of $86.28.

Eastman Chemical Company (NYSE:EMN) last released its earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The basic materials company reported $1.83 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.74 by $0.09. Eastman Chemical Company had a return on equity of 22.23% and a net margin of 9.84%. The company had revenue of $2.30 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.24 billion. On average, analysts expect that Eastman Chemical Company will post $7.47 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, July 5th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, June 15th will be issued a $0.51 dividend. This represents a $2.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.46%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, June 13th. Eastman Chemical Company’s payout ratio is 33.83%.

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In other Eastman Chemical Company news, Director Lewis M. Kling sold 4,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.88, for a total value of $319,520.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 15,693 shares in the company, valued at $1,253,556.84. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. 1.14% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in Eastman Chemical Company by 3,636.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,468,628 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $926,666,000 after buying an additional 11,161,689 shares during the period. Blackstone Group L.P. purchased a new stake in Eastman Chemical Company during the first quarter valued at $102,065,000. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in Eastman Chemical Company during the fourth quarter valued at $115,997,000. AQR Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in Eastman Chemical Company by 76.5% in the fourth quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 1,950,141 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $146,670,000 after buying an additional 845,159 shares during the period. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Eastman Chemical Company by 4.1% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 14,087,863 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,138,298,000 after buying an additional 557,858 shares during the period. 88.55% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Eastman Chemical Company

Eastman Chemical Company (Eastman) is an advanced materials and specialty additives company. The Company’s segments include Additives & Functional Products (AFP), Advanced Materials (AM), Chemical Intermediates (CI), and Fibers. In the AFP segment, it manufactures chemicals for products in the coatings, tires, consumables, building and construction, industrial applications, including solar energy markets, animal nutrition, care chemicals, crop protection, and energy markets.

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