Zacks Investment Research Lowers Sonoco Products (SON) to Hold

Sonoco Products (NYSE:SON) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Sonoco maintains a cautious outlook regarding fourth-quarter 2017 due to higher resin prices and impact of hurricanes. For 2017, Sonoco's earnings per share guidance range is at $2.75-$2.81, the mid-point of which reflects year-over-year growth of 2.2%. Sonoco estimates that its adjusted earnings per share for 2018 will be in the range of $3.00-$3.10. The company remains committed to executing its ‘Grow and Optimize’ strategy, which is focused on targeted growth of Consumer Packaging and Protective Solutions businesses along with optimizing Industrial-focused businesses. Additionally, it remains focused on accelerating organic growth by introducing new commercial products, improving manufacturing productivity and gaining market share. Sonoco has underperformed the industry over the past year.”

A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on the company. KeyCorp reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Sonoco Products in a report on Thursday, October 19th. Barclays upped their price objective on Sonoco Products from $48.00 to $49.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a report on Friday, October 20th. Finally, Robert W. Baird reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $60.00 target price on shares of Sonoco Products in a report on Friday, November 10th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Sonoco Products currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $53.43.

Shares of Sonoco Products (SON) traded down $0.06 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $50.13. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 73,113 shares, compared to its average volume of 469,935. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.74, a quick ratio of 1.11 and a current ratio of 1.59. Sonoco Products has a one year low of $47.10 and a one year high of $55.77. The stock has a market capitalization of $5,001.85, a PE ratio of 18.41, a P/E/G ratio of 3.45 and a beta of 1.12.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Smithfield Trust Co. purchased a new position in Sonoco Products during the second quarter worth about $105,000. Pictet Asset Management Ltd. purchased a new position in shares of Sonoco Products in the 1st quarter worth about $106,000. IFP Advisors Inc raised its holdings in shares of Sonoco Products by 13.2% in the 1st quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 2,077 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $110,000 after purchasing an additional 242 shares during the period. Ffcm LLC purchased a new position in shares of Sonoco Products in the 3rd quarter worth about $113,000. Finally, First Personal Financial Services raised its holdings in shares of Sonoco Products by 235.7% in the 4th quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 2,182 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $116,000 after purchasing an additional 1,532 shares during the period. 71.72% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Sonoco Products

Sonoco Products Company is engaged in manufacturing of industrial and consumer packaging products, and providing packaging services. The Company operates in four segments: Consumer Packaging, Paper and Industrial Converted Products, Display and Packaging, and Protective Solutions. Its Consumer Packaging segment’s products and services include round composite cans, aluminum, steel and peelable membrane easy-open closures for composite and metal cans; plastic bottles, cups and trays, and printed flexible packaging and global brand management.

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