SYSCO (NYSE:SYY) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday. The brokerage presently has a $71.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective suggests a potential upside of 15.67% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Sysco Corporation recently outlined its key growth strategies, which will help it achieve its three-year financial goals for fiscal 2020. Sysco's four core strategies include enhancing consumers’ experience; optimising business; stimulating power of its people and achieving operational efficacy. Notably, the company has been gaining from its cost-saving and revenue-management efforts for quite some time now, as evident from its solid past record. These efforts, along with contsant focus on buyouts have helped Sysco surpass the industry in the past three months. However, Sysco's international results in the last reported quarter were hurt by softness in Europe, which is battling slow traffic. Moreover, weak UK currency resulted in food cost inflation, thereby leading to pricing pressure. While these hurdles are likely to persist in fiscal 2018, management expects its U.S. business to be buoyed by higher consumer demand.”

Several other analysts have also recently issued reports on SYY. BMO Capital Markets reissued an “outperform” rating on shares of SYSCO in a research report on Tuesday, September 12th. Pivotal Research reissued a “hold” rating and set a $53.00 price target on shares of SYSCO in a research report on Sunday, November 5th. Finally, Loop Capital increased their price target on shares of SYSCO to $68.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, December 11th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $59.55.

SYSCO (NYSE:SYY) traded down $0.20 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $61.38. 2,388,000 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,658,600. SYSCO has a 52 week low of $48.85 and a 52 week high of $62.79. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.77, a current ratio of 1.40 and a quick ratio of 0.88. The firm has a market capitalization of $31,970.00, a PE ratio of 28.03, a P/E/G ratio of 2.64 and a beta of 0.53.

SYSCO (NYSE:SYY) last posted its earnings results on Monday, November 6th. The company reported $0.74 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $14.65 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $14.43 billion. SYSCO had a net margin of 2.12% and a return on equity of 58.47%. SYSCO’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.67 earnings per share. equities research analysts anticipate that SYSCO will post 2.78 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CEO William J. Delaney III sold 150,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.05, for a total transaction of $8,107,500.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 526,725 shares in the company, valued at $28,469,486.25. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Russell T. Libby sold 13,334 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, January 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.69, for a total transaction of $809,240.46. Following the sale, the insider now owns 64,394 shares in the company, valued at $3,908,071.86. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 224,534 shares of company stock worth $12,351,572 over the last 90 days. Insiders own 9.60% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Exane Derivatives increased its stake in shares of SYSCO by 137.8% during the third quarter. Exane Derivatives now owns 48,699 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,627,000 after buying an additional 28,217 shares during the period. FDx Advisors Inc. increased its stake in SYSCO by 27.6% in the third quarter. FDx Advisors Inc. now owns 35,396 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,910,000 after purchasing an additional 7,652 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in SYSCO by 20.3% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,917,645 shares of the company’s stock valued at $146,845,000 after purchasing an additional 491,398 shares during the last quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC increased its stake in SYSCO by 637.5% in the third quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC now owns 5,900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $318,000 after purchasing an additional 5,100 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Stifel Financial Corp increased its stake in SYSCO by 21.8% in the second quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 1,093,476 shares of the company’s stock valued at $55,001,000 after purchasing an additional 195,903 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 80.07% of the company’s stock.

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About SYSCO

Sysco Corporation (Sysco) is a distributor of food and related products primarily to the foodservice or food-away-from-home industry. The Company’s segments include Broadline, SYGMA and Other. The Broadline segment includes its Broadline operations located in the Bahamas, Canada, Costa Rica, Ireland, Mexico and the United States.

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