Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of International Paper (NYSE:IP) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Hurricane Florence had a negative impact of $36 million on International Paper’s third-quarter results, which included $8 million in volume and $28 million in operations. Notably, three mills and three box plants were impacted. The company expects a $15 million impact in the fourth quarter, mostly in the Global Cellulose Fibers business. Distribution costs are trending upwards lately due to a very tight truck and rail availability as well as higher diesel fuel cost. This, along with elevated input costs (fiber, chemicals, energy, and freight) will suppress margins in the near term. “

Other research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Argus lowered their price objective on shares of International Paper from $70.00 to $55.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Monday, October 29th. Citigroup lowered their price objective on shares of International Paper from $67.00 to $51.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, October 11th. BMO Capital Markets lowered shares of International Paper from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and lowered their price objective for the company from $66.00 to $51.00 in a research note on Tuesday, October 9th. ValuEngine lowered shares of International Paper from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 3rd. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reissued a buy rating and issued a $49.00 price objective on shares of International Paper in a research note on Tuesday. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. International Paper currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $57.00.

IP stock traded up $0.43 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $45.24. 3,805,700 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,882,550. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.52, a current ratio of 1.59 and a quick ratio of 1.13. The firm has a market cap of $17.30 billion, a PE ratio of 12.96, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.79 and a beta of 1.48. International Paper has a 12-month low of $37.55 and a 12-month high of $66.94.

International Paper (NYSE:IP) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The basic materials company reported $1.56 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.47 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $5.90 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $5.90 billion. International Paper had a net margin of 13.68% and a return on equity of 29.75%. Sell-side analysts anticipate that International Paper will post 5.3 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, February 21st will be issued a $0.50 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, February 20th. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.42%. International Paper’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 57.31%.

International Paper announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan on Tuesday, October 9th that permits the company to repurchase $430.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the basic materials company to reacquire up to 2.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of IP. Qube Research & Technologies Ltd acquired a new stake in International Paper in the second quarter valued at approximately $106,000. Girard Partners LTD. acquired a new stake in International Paper during the third quarter worth approximately $109,000. Meeder Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in International Paper during the third quarter worth approximately $133,000. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in International Paper during the second quarter worth approximately $139,000. Finally, Diamant Asset Management Inc. acquired a new stake in International Paper during the third quarter worth approximately $140,000. 80.93% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

International Paper Company Profile

International Paper Company operates as a paper and packaging company primarily in North America, Europe, Latin America, North Africa, India, and Russia. It operates through three segments: Industrial Packaging, Global Cellulose Fibers, and Printing Papers. The Industrial Packaging segment manufactures containerboards, including linerboard, medium, whitetop, recycled linerboard, recycled medium, and saturating kraft.

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