Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. (NASDAQ:PPC) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Pilgrim’s Pride intends to boost its revenues by following a unique product diversification strategy. The company is presently trying to tap the growing market demand for natural food products. Also, Pilgrim’s Pride is trying to widen margins by strategically lowering operational costs. Moreover, a wide product distribution network, optimal input usage and greater labor efficiency are expected to drive near-term profits. However, certain headwinds such as outbreak of livestock diseases, extensive industry rivalry, strong U.S. dollar, input price fluctuations or high volatility in consumers’ brand loyalty might limit growth. Owing to these bearish aspects, Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock has been revised downwards both for 2016 and 2017.”

PPC has been the topic of a number of other reports. BB&T Corp. cut Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 25th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Deutsche Bank AG cut Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $30.55 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Wednesday, May 25th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets restated a hold rating and issued a $27.00 price objective on shares of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $27.11.

Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. (NASDAQ:PPC) opened at 20.80 on Wednesday. The company has a 50-day moving average of $23.07 and a 200-day moving average of $24.52. The company has a market cap of $5.29 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.29 and a beta of 0.01. Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. has a one year low of $17.39 and a one year high of $27.79.

Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. (NASDAQ:PPC) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, July 27th. The company reported $0.58 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.64 by $0.06. Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. had a net margin of 5.85% and a return on equity of 40.35%. The firm earned $2.03 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.02 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.94 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was down 1.3% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts expect that Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. will post $2.00 EPS for the current fiscal year.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of PPC. Teachers Advisors Inc. raised its position in Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. by 81.0% in the first quarter. Teachers Advisors Inc. now owns 180,456 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,584,000 after buying an additional 80,763 shares during the last quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. by 153.5% in the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 8,108 shares of the company’s stock valued at $206,000 after buying an additional 4,909 shares during the last quarter. Stifel Financial Corp raised its position in shares of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. by 383.4% in the fourth quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 144,132 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,545,000 after buying an additional 114,317 shares during the last quarter. Credit Agricole S A raised its position in shares of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. by 4.8% in the first quarter. Credit Agricole S A now owns 76,600 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,946,000 after buying an additional 3,500 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Harvest Capital Strategies LLC acquired a new position in shares of Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. during the first quarter valued at approximately $1,745,000. 27.48% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Pilgrim’s Pride Corp.

Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation (Pilgrim’s) is a retail food store. The Company is a producer and seller of chicken products with operations in the United States, Mexico and Puerto Rico. The Company is engaged in the production, processing, marketing and distribution of fresh, frozen and value-added chicken products to retailers, distributors and foodservice operators.

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