Dean Foods (DF) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Dean Foods is witnessing increased optimism on the smart volume initiative, which is expected to aid results. This initiative is aimed at improving top-line, building margins and creating operating efficiencies. In third-quarter 2017, the company’s results gained from overall solid sales execution and stringent progress on its smart volumes initiative, which helped in wining some new business for 2018. On the flip side, the company has been witnessing a dismal sales trend evident from the second straight quarter miss in third-quarter due to soft volumes, higher raw milk costs, and loss of share in U.S. fluid milk volumes. This led Dean Foods to underperform the sector in the past month. Nevertheless, the company expects to bring more smart volumes into its system to aid top line growth. The company’s initiatives to strengthen brands and diversify portfolio also bode well.”

Several other analysts have also recently issued reports on DF. Jefferies Group set a $16.00 target price on Dean Foods and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Sunday, October 29th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “market perform” rating and issued a $12.00 price objective (down previously from $15.00) on shares of Dean Foods in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th. Morgan Stanley lowered their price objective on Dean Foods from $10.00 to $9.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th. Credit Suisse Group lowered their price objective on Dean Foods from $10.00 to $8.50 and set an “underperform” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th. Finally, Vertical Group raised Dean Foods from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, January 8th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $13.05.

Shares of Dean Foods (DF) traded up $0.02 during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $9.40. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,321,470 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,512,642. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.33, a current ratio of 1.28 and a quick ratio of 0.93. The company has a market cap of $848.79, a PE ratio of 27.65, a PEG ratio of 0.83 and a beta of 0.39. Dean Foods has a 1-year low of $9.01 and a 1-year high of $20.66.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Flinton Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Dean Foods by 60.6% in the 2nd quarter. Flinton Capital Management LLC now owns 6,448 shares of the company’s stock worth $110,000 after purchasing an additional 2,432 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. lifted its position in Dean Foods by 40.7% during the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 7,857 shares of the company’s stock worth $133,000 after acquiring an additional 2,271 shares during the period. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio lifted its position in Dean Foods by 6.8% during the 2nd quarter. Public Employees Retirement System of Ohio now owns 11,278 shares of the company’s stock worth $192,000 after acquiring an additional 717 shares during the period. Hotchkis & Wiley Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in Dean Foods during the 3rd quarter worth about $141,000. Finally, Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. acquired a new stake in Dean Foods during the 3rd quarter worth about $164,000. 95.08% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Dean Foods Company Profile

Dean Foods Company is a food and beverage company. The Company processes and distributes fluid milk, and other dairy and dairy case products in the United States. It is engaged in manufacturing, marketing, selling and distributing a range of branded and private label dairy and dairy case products. It offers branded and private label dairy case products, including fluid milk, ice cream, cultured dairy products, creamers, ice cream mix and other dairy products to retailers, distributors, foodservice outlets, educational institutions and governmental entities across the United States.

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