Zacks Investment Research Lowers SunOpta, Inc. (STKL) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of SunOpta, Inc. (NASDAQ:STKL) (TSE:SOY) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Friday.

According to Zacks, “SunOpta Inc. is an operator of high-growth ethical businesses, focusing on integrated business models in the natural and organic food, supplements and health and beauty markets. The Company has three business units: the SunOpta Food Group, which specializes in sourcing, processing and distribution of natural and organic food products integrated from seed through packaged products; the Opta Minerals Group, a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial materials; and the SunOpta BioProcess Group which engineers and markets proprietary steam explosion technology systems for the pulp, bio-fuel and food processing industries. Each of these business units has proprietary products and services that give it a solid competitive advantage in its sector. “

Separately, BidaskClub cut SunOpta from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $9.50.

Shares of SunOpta (NASDAQ:STKL) traded down $0.17 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $7.50. The stock had a trading volume of 497,800 shares, compared to its average volume of 400,537. SunOpta has a one year low of $6.00 and a one year high of $10.20. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.64, a current ratio of 1.32 and a quick ratio of 0.45.

SunOpta (NASDAQ:STKL) (TSE:SOY) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 8th. The company reported ($0.02) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.02 by ($0.04). The company had revenue of $320.71 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $335.68 million. SunOpta had a negative net margin of 3.99% and a negative return on equity of 2.98%. SunOpta’s revenue for the quarter was down 8.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.07 earnings per share. equities research analysts predict that SunOpta will post -0.09 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other SunOpta news, CAO John Ruelle sold 38,361 shares of SunOpta stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $8.75, for a total transaction of $335,658.75. Following the completion of the sale, the chief accounting officer now owns 38,361 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $335,658.75. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO Robert Mckeracher sold 36,533 shares of SunOpta stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $8.41, for a total value of $307,242.53. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.88% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Atria Investments LLC bought a new stake in SunOpta during the second quarter worth about $104,000. South State Corp bought a new stake in SunOpta during the second quarter worth about $110,000. Cookson Peirce & Co. Inc. bought a new stake in SunOpta during the second quarter worth about $143,000. Janus Capital Management LLC lifted its stake in SunOpta by 1.4% during the first quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 14,869 shares of the company’s stock worth $103,000 after purchasing an additional 211 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Tudor Investment Corp ET AL bought a new stake in SunOpta during the second quarter worth about $153,000. 79.22% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About SunOpta

Sunopta Inc is a Canada-based company, which operates businesses focused on a healthy products portfolio. It operates through the following segments: Global Ingredients and Consumer Products. The Global Ingredients segment aggregates its North American and international raw material sourcing and supply operating segments focused on the procurement, processing and sale of specialty and organic grains, seeds, fruits, grain- and cocoa-based ingredients, and other commodities.

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