Central Garden & Pet (CENT) Raised to Buy at Zacks Investment Research
Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ:CENT) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Friday. The brokerage presently has a $41.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would suggest a potential upside of 8.24% from the stock’s current price.
According to Zacks, “Shares of Central Garden & Pet have outpaced the industry in a year. Organic growth, value accretive acquisitions and divestment of non-strategic assets bode well for the stock. Management is revamping both Pet and Garden segments and applies a balanced approach that encompasses improvement in revenues and profits through operational efficiency. We believe that improved product offerings, strategic investments, growth in e-commerce and cost containment efforts helped post better-than-expected first-quarter fiscal 2018 results, wherein both the top and bottom lines grew year over year. However, rise in cost of goods sold and occupancy, higher SG&A and interest expenses as well as seasonality of business remain concerns. Nevertheless, management now expects fiscal 2018 adjusted earnings per share to increase by 23.3% or higher on account of lower Federal tax rate and sturdy quarterly performance.”
Other equities research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Central Garden & Pet in a research report on Monday, October 16th. Sidoti cut shares of Central Garden & Pet from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Monday, October 16th. Oppenheimer reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Central Garden & Pet in a research note on Wednesday, November 29th. CL King initiated coverage on Central Garden & Pet in a research note on Thursday, December 7th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $47.00 price target for the company. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded Central Garden & Pet from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, January 6th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $44.00.
Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ:CENT) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, February 7th. The company reported $0.19 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.15 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $442.01 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $435.19 million. Central Garden & Pet had a net margin of 4.69% and a return on equity of 12.86%. Central Garden & Pet’s quarterly revenue was up 5.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.12 earnings per share. sell-side analysts forecast that Central Garden & Pet will post 1.89 EPS for the current year.
In related news, Director Brooks Pennington III sold 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $35.47, for a total value of $354,700.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 35,928 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,274,366.16. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Nicholas Lahanas sold 7,119 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.78, for a total value of $276,074.82. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 27,959 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,084,250.02. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 80,299 shares of company stock valued at $3,028,258. 11.60% of the stock is owned by insiders.
A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Central Garden & Pet by 3.8% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,372,123 shares of the company’s stock valued at $43,620,000 after purchasing an additional 49,679 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN raised its stake in Central Garden & Pet by 1.6% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 813,174 shares of the company’s stock valued at $31,649,000 after purchasing an additional 12,911 shares in the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its stake in Central Garden & Pet by 67.2% during the third quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 300,759 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,681,000 after acquiring an additional 120,898 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its stake in Central Garden & Pet by 9.8% during the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 245,510 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,805,000 after acquiring an additional 21,956 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its stake in Central Garden & Pet by 41.2% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 204,093 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,927,000 after acquiring an additional 59,561 shares in the last quarter. 19.96% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
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About Central Garden & Pet
Central Garden & Pet Company is a marketer and producer of branded products and distributor of third party products in the pet and lawn and garden supplies industries in the United States. The Company operates in two segments: Pet segment and the Garden segment. It is a marketer and producer of pet supplies in the United States.
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