Zacks Investment Research Lowers Flowers Foods (FLO) to Sell

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

According to Zacks, “Flowers Foods is one of the largest producers of packaged bakery foods in the United States. The company operates 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. “

Other research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Pivotal Research reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $26.00 price target (up from $23.00) on shares of Flowers Foods in a research report on Friday, January 12th. TheStreet cut shares of Flowers Foods from a “b-” rating to a “c” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 9th. SunTrust Banks reissued a “hold” rating and set a $20.00 target price on shares of Flowers Foods in a research report on Friday, November 10th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating and set a $19.00 target price on shares of Flowers Foods in a research report on Thursday, November 2nd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $21.00.

Shares of Flowers Foods (FLO) traded up $0.41 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $20.37. 3,090,000 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,340,000. The company has a current ratio of 1.27, a quick ratio of 1.01 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67. Flowers Foods has a 1-year low of $16.80 and a 1-year high of $21.00. The stock has a market capitalization of $4,270.00, a P/E ratio of 28.69, a PEG ratio of 3.63 and a beta of 0.91.

Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, February 7th. The company reported $0.17 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.14 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $873.60 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $860.34 million. Flowers Foods had a net margin of 3.83% and a return on equity of 15.17%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up .6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.16 earnings per share. analysts expect that Flowers Foods will post 0.96 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, CEO Allen L. Shiver sold 177,081 shares of the business’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 owns 978,353 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,588,707. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, CFO R Steve Kinsey sold 116,067 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.39, for a total transaction of $2,250,539.13. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 448,016 shares of company stock valued at $8,588,807. 15.81% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Ffcm LLC lifted its holdings in Flowers Foods by 1,298.6% in the third quarter. Ffcm LLC now owns 6,965 shares of the company’s stock worth $131,000 after purchasing an additional 6,467 shares during the period. BB&T Securities LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Flowers Foods in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $192,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank grew its stake in shares of Flowers Foods by 48.7% in the 4th quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 9,976 shares of the company’s stock worth $193,000 after buying an additional 3,266 shares during the last quarter. Fox Run Management L.L.C. purchased a new stake in shares of Flowers Foods in the 4th quarter worth approximately $195,000. Finally, Round Table Services LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Flowers Foods in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $208,000. 66.46% of the stock is owned by 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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