Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Zoetis Inc. (NYSE:ZTS) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Growth at Zoetis is being driven by industry-leading dermatology portfolio consisting of Apoquel and Cytopoint and new oral parasiticide Simparica. Sales of companion animal products are being further boosted by further penetration of new products in key countries outside of the U.S. such as Japan, Brazil, and Canada while growth in livestock portfolio was balanced across the U.S. and international business segments. However, swine performance is being impacted by competition from Fostera. The acquisition of Nexvet Biopharma will further strengthen Zoetis’ chronic pain management franchise. Shares of Zoetis have outperformed the industry in 2017 in the last six months. However, Zoetis faces stiff competition from companies like Merck Animal Health (the animal health division of Merck), Elanco.”

Other research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $65.00 target price on shares of Zoetis in a report on Friday, July 21st. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $65.00 target price (up from $62.00) on shares of Zoetis in a report on Monday, July 17th. Cowen and Company set a $70.00 target price on shares of Zoetis and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Monday, July 17th. Cantor Fitzgerald reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $75.00 target price on shares of Zoetis in a report on Wednesday, September 6th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $73.00 target price on shares of Zoetis and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Friday, August 25th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $67.06.

Shares of Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) opened at $68.69 on Wednesday. The stock has a market cap of $32,799.38, a P/E ratio of 30.88, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.01 and a beta of 1.02. The company has a quick ratio of 1.17, a current ratio of 2.01 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.13.

Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 2nd. The company reported $0.65 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.63 by $0.02. Zoetis had a net margin of 18.29% and a return on equity of 66.15%. The firm had revenue of $1.35 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.32 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.52 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 8.5% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts expect that Zoetis will post 2.36 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 1st. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 9th will be paid a $0.105 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, November 8th. This represents a $0.42 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.61%. Zoetis’s payout ratio is currently 22.11%.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. grew its stake in Zoetis by 16.8% in the 2nd quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 1,598 shares of the company’s stock worth $100,000 after acquiring an additional 230 shares during the period. Harfst & Associates Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Zoetis by 16.1% in the 2nd quarter. Harfst & Associates Inc. now owns 1,878 shares of the company’s stock valued at $117,000 after purchasing an additional 260 shares during the last quarter. Almanack Investment Partners LLC. acquired a new position in shares of Zoetis in the 2nd quarter valued at $119,000. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd acquired a new position in shares of Zoetis in the 1st quarter valued at $111,000. Finally, Peddock Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Zoetis in the 2nd quarter valued at $140,000. 93.04% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Zoetis

Zoetis Inc is engaged in the discovery, development, manufacture and commercialization of animal health medicines and vaccines, with a focus on both livestock and companion animals. The Company has a business, commercializing products across eight core species: cattle, swine, poultry, sheep and fish (collectively, livestock) and dogs, cats and horses (collectively, companion animals), and within five product categories: anti-infectives, vaccines, parasiticides, medicated feed additives and other pharmaceuticals.

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Analyst Recommendations for Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS)

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