Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Flowers Foods is one of the largest producers of packaged bakery foods in the United States. The company operates more than 40 highly efficient bakeries that produce a wide range of bakery food for retail and foodservice customers in the U.S. The company maintains some of the most efficient and technologically advanced bakeries in the country and has a team of outstanding employees and associates. Each bakery operates as a separate subsidiary of the company and has its own president, human resources director, and controller. Fresh breads, buns, rolls, snack cakes, and tortillas are available to approximately 80% of the U.S. population through the company’s direct-store delivery (DSD) network. “

Several other research analysts have also issued reports on the stock. TheStreet lowered shares of Flowers Foods from a “b-” rating to a “c” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. Pivotal Research raised shares of Flowers Foods from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $23.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. SunTrust Banks reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $20.00 price objective on shares of Flowers Foods in a research note on Friday, November 10th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets raised their price objective on shares of Flowers Foods from $19.00 to $20.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 15th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Flowers Foods has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $21.67.

Shares of Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO) traded up $0.20 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $18.69. 1,383,879 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,280,233. The company has a market capitalization of $3,920.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 46.73, a PEG ratio of 3.38 and a beta of 1.04. Flowers Foods has a fifty-two week low of $16.80 and a fifty-two week high of $21.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.71, a quick ratio of 1.01 and a current ratio of 1.28.

Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, November 8th. The company reported $0.23 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.20 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $932.80 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $915.55 million. Flowers Foods had a net margin of 2.16% and a return on equity of 15.16%. Flowers Foods’s revenue was up 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.21 earnings per share. equities analysts anticipate that Flowers Foods will post 0.87 EPS for the current year.

In other Flowers Foods news, insider Brad K. Alexander sold 81,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, November 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.07, for a total value of $1,544,670.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 245,412 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,680,006.84. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, CEO Allen L. Shiver sold 177,081 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.00, for a total transaction of $3,364,539.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 978,353 shares in the company, valued at $18,588,707. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 448,016 shares of company stock worth $8,588,807 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 15.81% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Systematic Financial Management LP bought a new position in shares of Flowers Foods during the second quarter valued at about $1,555,000. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Flowers Foods by 2.4% during the third quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 152,873 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,876,000 after purchasing an additional 3,633 shares in the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. lifted its position in shares of Flowers Foods by 7.3% during the third quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 673,943 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,677,000 after purchasing an additional 45,909 shares in the last quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its position in shares of Flowers Foods by 12.4% during the second quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 266,192 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,608,000 after purchasing an additional 29,320 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Hamlin Capital Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Flowers Foods by 15.8% during the third quarter. Hamlin Capital Management LLC now owns 3,860,784 shares of the company’s stock valued at $72,621,000 after purchasing an additional 525,394 shares in the last quarter. 66.39% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Flowers Foods

Flowers Foods, Inc is a producer and marketer of packaged bakery products. The Company operates in two segments: direct-store-delivery segment (DSD Segment) and warehouse delivery segment (Warehouse Segment). The DSD segment produces fresh breads, buns, rolls, tortillas and snack cakes sold primarily by a network of independent distributors to retail and foodservice customers in the areas of the United States: East, South, Southwest, California, and select markets in the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, Nevada, and Colorado.

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