Pinnacle Foods, Inc. (NYSE:PF) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Pinnacle Foods’ focus on achieving growth via buyouts has been driving results for quite some time. Also, the company, which has surpassed the industry over a year, has been gaining from productivity initiatives. These factors helped the company post solid third-quarter 2017 results even amid hurdles related to Aunt Jemima’s exit; shutdown of Boulder UK operations, SKU rationalization program and impacts from hurricanes. Both earnings and sales topped estimates and bottom line retained its robust year-over-year growth trend. However, the aforementioned obstacles dented the top line, and the Specialty Foods unit continued to be challenged in the third quarter. Also, high marketing expenses and input cost inflation remain concerns. Nonetheless, management remains impressed with the company’s strong third-quarter in-market performance. Despite the current barriers, management expects earnings to jump 19% in 2017.”

Several other research firms have also commented on PF. Royal Bank Of Canada reissued an “outperform” rating and set a $67.00 price objective (up previously from $66.00) on shares of Pinnacle Foods in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. BidaskClub raised shares of Pinnacle Foods from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, August 18th. UBS AG reissued a “buy” rating and set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Pinnacle Foods in a research note on Monday, August 28th. Credit Suisse Group dropped their price objective on shares of Pinnacle Foods from $65.00 to $64.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, October 4th. Finally, Buckingham Research dropped their price objective on shares of Pinnacle Foods from $68.00 to $62.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $64.25.

Shares of Pinnacle Foods (PF) traded up 1.34% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $54.38. 418,938 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The stock has a market cap of $6.46 billion, a PE ratio of 35.43 and a beta of 0.33. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $57.05 and a 200-day moving average price of $59.12. Pinnacle Foods has a one year low of $46.36 and a one year high of $66.67.

Pinnacle Foods (NYSE:PF) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $0.58 EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.58. Pinnacle Foods had a net margin of 5.65% and a return on equity of 14.63%. The business had revenue of $749.80 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $753.10 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.53 earnings per share. Pinnacle Foods’s quarterly revenue was down 1.2% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Pinnacle Foods will post $2.55 EPS for the current year.

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In other Pinnacle Foods news, EVP Christopher J. Boever sold 26,682 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.02, for a total transaction of $1,574,771.64. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 66,296 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,912,789.92. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, EVP Mark L. Schiller sold 17,038 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $60.61, for a total transaction of $1,032,673.18. Following the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 74,832 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,535,567.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 76,950 shares of company stock valued at $4,588,273 over the last three months. 1.34% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Alps Advisors Inc. increased its holdings in Pinnacle Foods by 0.3% during the second quarter. Alps Advisors Inc. now owns 8,171 shares of the company’s stock valued at $485,000 after buying an additional 21 shares during the last quarter. World Asset Management Inc increased its holdings in Pinnacle Foods by 0.9% during the second quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 4,289 shares of the company’s stock valued at $255,000 after buying an additional 39 shares during the last quarter. Hanseatic Management Services Inc. increased its holdings in Pinnacle Foods by 0.3% during the second quarter. Hanseatic Management Services Inc. now owns 18,710 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,111,000 after buying an additional 47 shares during the last quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas increased its holdings in Pinnacle Foods by 1.4% during the second quarter. Teacher Retirement System of Texas now owns 9,365 shares of the company’s stock valued at $556,000 after buying an additional 132 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Stifel Financial Corp increased its holdings in Pinnacle Foods by 0.7% during the second quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 22,881 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,360,000 after buying an additional 155 shares during the last quarter. 95.55% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Pinnacle Foods

Pinnacle Foods Inc is a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of branded food products in North America. The Company operates through four segments: Frozen segment, the Grocery segment, the Boulder segment and the Specialty segment. Its products are sold through supermarkets, grocery wholesalers and distributors, mass merchandisers, super centers, convenience stores, dollar stores, drug stores and warehouse clubs in the United States and Canada, as well as in military channels and foodservice locations.

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Analyst Recommendations for Pinnacle Foods (NYSE:PF)

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