Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Ingles Markets (NASDAQ:IMKTA) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Ingles Markets, Incorporated is a leading supermarket chain with operations in the southeastern United States. Ingles’ strategy is to locate its supermarkets primarily in suburban areas, small towns and rural communities, where management believes the market may be underserved by existing supermarkets. “

A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on IMKTA. ValuEngine upgraded XCel Brands from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday. BidaskClub cut Waterstone Financial from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Friday, June 21st.

Shares of IMKTA stock traded up $0.24 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, hitting $32.23. 35,300 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 56,871. Ingles Markets has a twelve month low of $25.57 and a twelve month high of $37.65. The stock has a market capitalization of $649.30 million, a price-to-earnings ratio of 6.70, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.17 and a beta of 0.48. The stock’s 50-day simple moving average is $31.14. The company has a current ratio of 1.94, a quick ratio of 0.46 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.35.

Ingles Markets (NASDAQ:IMKTA) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 8th. The company reported $0.74 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter. Ingles Markets had a return on equity of 12.26% and a net margin of 1.93%. The company had revenue of $1 billion for the quarter. Equities analysts forecast that Ingles Markets will post 3.4 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, July 18th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, July 11th will be given a $0.165 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, July 10th. This represents a $0.66 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.05%. Ingles Markets’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 13.72%.

In other news, Director Sharp Laura Ingle sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, June 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $32.01, for a total value of $160,050.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 20,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $640,200. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 29.30% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Investors Research Corp acquired a new stake in Ingles Markets during the first quarter valued at $30,000. Legal & General Group Plc boosted its position in Ingles Markets by 32.9% during the fourth quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 2,720 shares of the company’s stock valued at $74,000 after purchasing an additional 674 shares during the last quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its position in Ingles Markets by 49,133.3% during the first quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 2,954 shares of the company’s stock valued at $82,000 after purchasing an additional 2,948 shares during the last quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. boosted its position in Ingles Markets by 33.3% during the first quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. now owns 4,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $110,000 after purchasing an additional 1,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY boosted its position in Ingles Markets by 313.5% during the fourth quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 4,706 shares of the company’s stock valued at $128,000 after purchasing an additional 3,568 shares during the last quarter. 62.46% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Ingles Markets

Ingles Markets, Incorporated operates a chain of supermarkets in the southeast United States. Its supermarkets offer various food products, including grocery, meat and dairy products, produce, frozen foods, and other perishables; and non-food products, such as fuel centers, pharmacies, health and beauty care products, and general merchandise, as well as private label items.

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