Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ:CENT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Central Garden & Pet outpaced the industry in the past one year, primarily owing to twelve consecutive quarters of earnings beat. Moreover, the company’s top-line has also surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the third straight quarter, when it posted third-quarter fiscal 2017 results. We note that both the top and bottom lines grew 11.7% and 21.6%, respectively. Robust financial numbers prompted management to provide an upbeat adjusted earnings per share projection for the fiscal year. Organic growth, value accretive acquisitions and divestment of non-strategic assets have been aiding Central Garden & Pet’s performance. Moreover, the company is revamping both its Pet and Garden segments, and intends to possess a balanced approach that encompasses improvement in revenues and profits through operational efficiency as well as cost reduction. However, stiff competition and seasonality of garden business remains a concern.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on CENT. BidaskClub cut Central Garden & Pet from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 1st. KeyCorp reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Central Garden & Pet in a report on Wednesday, September 6th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Central Garden & Pet in a report on Thursday, August 3rd. CL King began coverage on Central Garden & Pet in a report on Friday, July 7th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $38.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Sidoti upgraded Central Garden & Pet from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, June 19th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $39.00.

Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ CENT) traded down 0.25% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $39.41. 7,916 shares of the stock were exchanged. The company has a market capitalization of $2.04 billion, a PE ratio of 29.72 and a beta of 0.11. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $36.16 and a 200 day moving average price of $34.43. Central Garden & Pet has a 1-year low of $22.97 and a 1-year high of $39.74.

Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ:CENT) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, August 2nd. The company reported $0.62 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.51 by $0.11. Central Garden & Pet had a return on equity of 13.66% and a net margin of 3.49%. The company had revenue of $574.59 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $544.26 million. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.48 EPS. Central Garden & Pet’s quarterly revenue was up 11.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Central Garden & Pet will post $1.52 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other Central Garden & Pet news, Director Brooks Pennington III sold 25,933 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.16, for a total transaction of $885,871.28. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 48,365 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,652,148.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director John Ranelli sold 11,800 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.41, for a total value of $406,038.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 110,668 shares in the company, valued at $3,808,085.88. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 76,890 shares of company stock worth $2,612,545. Company insiders own 11.60% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Texas Permanent School Fund lifted its stake in Central Garden & Pet by 1.5% during the 2nd quarter. Texas Permanent School Fund now owns 7,458 shares of the company’s stock valued at $237,000 after acquiring an additional 108 shares in the last quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. lifted its stake in Central Garden & Pet by 1.3% during the 2nd quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 10,721 shares of the company’s stock valued at $339,000 after acquiring an additional 137 shares in the last quarter. New York State Teachers Retirement System lifted its stake in Central Garden & Pet by 2.6% during the 1st quarter. New York State Teachers Retirement System now owns 8,042 shares of the company’s stock valued at $298,000 after acquiring an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Sei Investments Co. lifted its stake in Central Garden & Pet by 8.9% during the 2nd quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 4,633 shares of the company’s stock valued at $148,000 after acquiring an additional 380 shares in the last quarter. Finally, ETRADE Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in Central Garden & Pet by 2.3% during the 2nd quarter. ETRADE Capital Management LLC now owns 20,354 shares of the company’s stock valued at $647,000 after acquiring an additional 466 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 20.19% of the company’s stock.

Central Garden & Pet Company Profile

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ:CENT)

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