Diageo (DEO) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold

Diageo (NYSE:DEO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Diageo have outperformed the industry in the past one year, driven by its strong fundamentals, continuous innovation and focus on expansion. Also, the company’s strategic endeavors including growth via acquisitions remain noteworthy. In fact, the buyout of the U.S. fastest-growing premium tequila brand, Casamigos, is expected to boost its market share in the category and is likely to capitalize on the company’s presence in the high-growth international markets. Notably, alcohol stocks are doing well backed by the rising demand for flavored whisky, premium tequilas and spirits. Further the company has been striving toward expanding its presence in emerging regions as well as focus on high-margin products. However, currency fluctuations as well as other macroeconomic factors such as interest rate hikes and increase in fuel and energy costs may also impact the company’s profitability.”

Other analysts have also issued reports about the company. Jefferies Group set a $157.00 target price on Diageo and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 11th. Evercore ISI started coverage on Diageo in a research report on Thursday, September 28th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $152.00 price objective for the company. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $156.00.

Shares of Diageo (NYSE DEO) traded up $0.09 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $145.24. The stock had a trading volume of 364,586 shares, compared to its average volume of 433,100. Diageo has a 52 week low of $106.61 and a 52 week high of $147.06. The firm has a market capitalization of $90,420.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.29, a PEG ratio of 2.88 and a beta of 0.75. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, a quick ratio of 0.58 and a current ratio of 1.30.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in DEO. Family Capital Trust Co acquired a new stake in Diageo in the third quarter worth about $119,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC increased its position in Diageo by 404.4% in the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 1,039 shares of the company’s stock worth $125,000 after purchasing an additional 833 shares during the period. Rockefeller Financial Services Inc. acquired a new stake in Diageo in the third quarter worth about $125,000. Quadrant Capital Group LLC increased its position in Diageo by 11.4% in the second quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 1,391 shares of the company’s stock worth $142,000 after purchasing an additional 142 shares during the period. Finally, UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. increased its position in Diageo by 124.4% in the second quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 1,479 shares of the company’s stock worth $177,000 after purchasing an additional 820 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 12.04% of the company’s stock.

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About Diageo

Diageo PLC is an alcoholic beverage company. The Company operates in various categories, including spirits and beer. Its geographic segments include North America; Europe, Russia and Turkey; Africa; Latin America and Caribbean, and Asia Pacific. Its principal products includes Scotch whisky, Gin, Vodka, Rum, Beer, Irish Cream Liqueur, Wine, Raki, Tequila, Canadian Whisky, American Whiskey, Progressive Adult Beverages, Cachaca, Brandy and Ready to Drink.

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