J M Smucker (SJM) Lifted to “Hold” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of J M Smucker (NYSE:SJM) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Smucker has lagged the industry in a year, which could be attributed to dismal earnings surprise history, which lingered in the second quarter of fiscal 2019. Notably, the company’s performance was hurt by hurdles stemming from the divestiture of the U.S. baking business. This along with rising freight costs and timing shifts in acquisition synergies led management to trim fiscal 2019 view. Lower selling prices also poses concerns. Nonetheless, Smucker has been gaining from a strong brand position. Markedly, acquisitions have played a crucial role in strengthening the company’s brand portfolio and boosting sales. In fact, during the second quarter of fiscal 2019, net sales increased 5% year over year, mainly driven by the Ainsworth buyout and gains from growth brands. Further the company has been on track with innovations. Additionally, the company remains focused on cost reduction and boosting e-commerce capabilities.”

Several other analysts have also recently weighed in on SJM. ValuEngine cut shares of J M Smucker from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 2nd. Credit Suisse Group set a $120.00 target price on shares of J M Smucker and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Thursday, December 20th. Morgan Stanley dropped their target price on shares of J M Smucker from $100.00 to $98.00 and set an underweight rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, November 29th. Bank of America restated a neutral rating and issued a $106.00 target price on shares of J M Smucker in a report on Wednesday, October 3rd. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group set a $125.00 target price on shares of J M Smucker and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, November 28th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $119.50.

Shares of J M Smucker stock opened at $101.48 on Monday. The company has a current ratio of 1.25, a quick ratio of 0.57 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73. J M Smucker has a twelve month low of $91.32 and a twelve month high of $133.38. The firm has a market capitalization of $11.34 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.75, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.09 and a beta of 0.50.

J M Smucker (NYSE:SJM) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 28th. The company reported $2.17 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.29 by ($0.12). J M Smucker had a return on equity of 12.03% and a net margin of 17.59%. The business had revenue of $2.02 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.05 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $2.02 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, sell-side analysts predict that J M Smucker will post 8.03 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, Chairman Richard K. Smucker acquired 20,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 30th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $103.09 per share, for a total transaction of $2,061,800.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the chairman now owns 681,387 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $70,244,185.83. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Timothy P. Smucker acquired 11,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, December 19th. The shares were bought at an average price of $98.26 per share, for a total transaction of $1,080,860.00. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 579,652 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $56,956,605.52. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders purchased 32,000 shares of company stock worth $3,234,860. 3.92% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Auxier Asset Management raised its holdings in shares of J M Smucker by 1.2% during the third quarter. Auxier Asset Management now owns 12,808 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,314,000 after purchasing an additional 150 shares during the period. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale raised its holdings in shares of J M Smucker by 5.4% in the 3rd quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 10,221 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,114,000 after acquiring an additional 520 shares during the last quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia raised its holdings in shares of J M Smucker by 3.8% in the 2nd quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 14,984 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,604,000 after acquiring an additional 542 shares during the last quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd raised its holdings in shares of J M Smucker by 25.2% in the 3rd quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd now owns 2,724 shares of the company’s stock worth $280,000 after acquiring an additional 548 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Farmers Trust Co. raised its holdings in shares of J M Smucker by 1.3% in the 3rd quarter. Farmers Trust Co. now owns 43,125 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,425,000 after acquiring an additional 558 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 79.30% of the company’s stock.

About J M Smucker

The J. M. Smucker Company manufactures and markets branded food and beverage products worldwide. It operates in four segments: U.S. Retail Coffee, U.S. Retail Consumer Foods, U.S. Retail Pet Foods, and International and Away From Home. The company primarily offers coffee, pet food and pet snacks, peanut butter, fruit spreads, shortening and oils, baking mixes and ready-to-spread frostings, frozen sandwiches, flour and baking ingredients, juices and beverages, and portion control products.

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