Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Diageo (NYSE:DEO) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Diageo have outperformed the industry in the past one year, driven by its strong fundamentals, continuous innovation and focus on expansion. Also, the company’s strategic endeavors including growth via acquisitions remain noteworthy. In fact, the buyout of the U.S. fastest-growing premium tequila brand, Casamigos, is expected to boost its market share in the category and is likely to capitalize on the company’s presence in the high-growth international markets.Notably, alcohol stocks are doing well backed by the rising demand for flavored whisky, premium tequilas and spirits. However, currency fluctuations pose a serious concern for the company. Macroeconomic factors such as interest rate hikes and increase in fuel and energy costs may also impact the company’s profitability.”

Other analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Berenberg Bank downgraded Diageo from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, September 13th. Evercore ISI assumed coverage on Diageo in a report on Thursday, September 28th. They issued an outperform rating and a $152.00 price target for the company. Finally, Jefferies Group reiterated a buy rating and issued a $155.40 price target (up from $155.20) on shares of Diageo in a report on Saturday, September 30th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have given a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $155.85.

Shares of Diageo (NYSE:DEO) traded up $0.21 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $144.93. The company had a trading volume of 241,744 shares, compared to its average volume of 384,506. Diageo has a 52-week low of $105.71 and a 52-week high of $147.06. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, a current ratio of 1.30 and a quick ratio of 0.58.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of DEO. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership boosted its position in Diageo by 29.0% in the 2nd quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership now owns 1,475,331 shares of the company’s stock valued at $176,789,000 after buying an additional 332,046 shares during the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company boosted its position in Diageo by 10.7% in the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 1,195,108 shares of the company’s stock valued at $143,210,000 after buying an additional 115,666 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP boosted its position in Diageo by 20.7% in the 2nd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 477,570 shares of the company’s stock valued at $57,227,000 after buying an additional 81,823 shares during the last quarter. Royal Bank of Canada boosted its position in Diageo by 3.6% in the 2nd quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 1,430,137 shares of the company’s stock valued at $171,374,000 after buying an additional 49,524 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Moody Lynn & Lieberson LLC boosted its position in Diageo by 1,312.4% in the 3rd quarter. Moody Lynn & Lieberson LLC now owns 51,749 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,838,000 after buying an additional 48,085 shares during the last quarter. 12.04% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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Diageo Company Profile

Diageo PLC is an alcoholic beverage company. The Company operates in various categories, including spirits and beer. Its geographic segments include North America; Europe, Russia and Turkey; Africa; Latin America and Caribbean, and Asia Pacific. Its principal products includes Scotch whisky, Gin, Vodka, Rum, Beer, Irish Cream Liqueur, Wine, Raki, Tequila, Canadian Whisky, American Whiskey, Progressive Adult Beverages, Cachaca, Brandy and Ready to Drink.

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Analyst Recommendations for Diageo (NYSE:DEO)

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