International Paper Company (NYSE:IP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $64.00 target price on the basic materials company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective would indicate a potential upside of 12.20% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “International Paper is undergoing restructuring initiatives to transform itself into a core packaging company. It intends to invest $300 million through 2017 to further improve its North American containerboard mill system, enhance product quality, and reduce manufacturing and delivery costs. These projects are expected to have a collective internal rate of return of 20%. The acquisition of Weyerhaeuser’s pulp business is further likely to strengthen its position in the global fluff pulp market and augment operating cash flow. In addition, the company expects the acquisition to generate annual synergies of approximately $175 million by the end of 2018 along with a higher flexibility to manage a wide portfolio of products to meet customer needs through superior R&D capabilities and priceless patent portfolio. The company also outperformed the industry year to date. However, huge pension debt obligations erode its profitability.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently commented on IP. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “buy” rating and set a $63.00 price target on shares of International Paper Company in a research note on Wednesday, April 12th. KeyCorp restated a “hold” rating on shares of International Paper Company in a research note on Thursday, June 29th. Citigroup Inc. restated a “neutral” rating on shares of International Paper Company in a research note on Saturday, April 22nd. Deutsche Bank AG upped their price target on shares of International Paper Company from $50.00 to $54.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 25th. Finally, Barclays PLC upped their price target on shares of International Paper Company from $45.00 to $48.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research note on Monday, May 1st. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, six have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $55.67.

Shares of International Paper Company (NYSE IP) traded down 0.35% on Tuesday, hitting $57.04. 1,183,894 shares of the stock traded hands. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $54.19 and a 200-day moving average price of $53.16. International Paper Company has a 52 week low of $42.19 and a 52 week high of $58.86. The stock has a market cap of $23.55 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 30.49 and a beta of 1.48.

International Paper Company (NYSE:IP) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 27th. The basic materials company reported $0.60 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.56 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $5.51 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.44 billion. International Paper Company had a net margin of 3.63% and a return on equity of 30.44%. International Paper Company’s revenue was up 7.8% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.80 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that International Paper Company will post $3.63 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 26th were issued a $0.4625 dividend. This represents a $1.85 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.24%. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, May 24th. International Paper Company’s payout ratio is 98.40%.

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Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of IP. FNY Partners Fund LP raised its position in shares of International Paper Company by 166.7% in the first quarter. FNY Partners Fund LP now owns 2,000 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $101,000 after buying an additional 1,250 shares during the last quarter. Hefty Wealth Partners raised its position in shares of International Paper Company by 4,425.7% in the first quarter. Hefty Wealth Partners now owns 3,168 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $160,000 after buying an additional 3,098 shares during the last quarter. Old Mutual Global Investors UK Ltd. bought a new position in shares of International Paper Company during the first quarter worth approximately $172,000. Parallel Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of International Paper Company by 24.8% in the first quarter. Parallel Advisors LLC now owns 3,417 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $182,000 after buying an additional 680 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Duncker Streett & Co. Inc. raised its position in shares of International Paper Company by 9.0% in the first quarter. Duncker Streett & Co. Inc. now owns 3,630 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $184,000 after buying an additional 300 shares during the last quarter. 83.19% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About International Paper Company

International Paper Company is a paper and packaging company with primary markets and manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Russia, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The Company’s segments include Industrial Packaging, Global Cellulose Fibers, Printing Papers and Consumer Packaging.

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Analyst Recommendations for International Paper Company (NYSE:IP)

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