Diageo (DEO) Upgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Diageo (NYSE:DEO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Diageo outpaced the industry in the past year driven by its expansion and innovation strategy. This aided sales and earnings growth in first-half fiscal 2019. Moreover, the company’s focus on achieving growth via acquisitions is yielding results. Its focus on expanding presence in emerging markets and premium brands is also encouraging. However, Diageo’s sales is being negatively impacted by adverse currency rates, which is likely to persist in fiscal 2019. Further, input cost inflation and higher transportation costs are likely to weigh on margins. During first-half fiscal 2019, the company witnessed inflationary pressures from commodity costs. Inflationary cost pressures from commodity and transportation will slightly mar gross margin in second-half fiscal 2019. The company also expects muted operating margin growth in the second half, due to the phasing of productivity costs and marketing expenses.”

Other research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Barclays initiated coverage on Diageo in a research note on Monday, April 1st. They set an “overweight” rating for the company. Liberum Capital upgraded Diageo from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 31st. Finally, Investec cut Diageo from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, March 25th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $164.75.

Shares of DEO stock traded down $0.13 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $169.36. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 4,827 shares, compared to its average volume of 381,404. The firm has a market cap of $103.29 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.65, a P/E/G ratio of 3.01 and a beta of 0.54. Diageo has a one year low of $131.43 and a one year high of $171.58. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.94, a quick ratio of 0.73 and a current ratio of 1.48.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of DEO. FMR LLC raised its stake in shares of Diageo by 586.2% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 309,135 shares of the company’s stock worth $50,578,000 after purchasing an additional 264,083 shares during the last quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Diageo by 393.1% in the first quarter. Lazard Asset Management LLC now owns 238,339 shares of the company’s stock worth $38,994,000 after purchasing an additional 190,003 shares during the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado raised its stake in shares of Diageo by 27.7% in the fourth quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado now owns 547,691 shares of the company’s stock worth $77,663,000 after purchasing an additional 118,880 shares during the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp raised its stake in shares of Diageo by 11.3% in the first quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 844,162 shares of the company’s stock worth $138,113,000 after purchasing an additional 85,578 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC raised its stake in shares of Diageo by 9.9% in the first quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 916,531 shares of the company’s stock worth $149,954,000 after purchasing an additional 82,270 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 10.55% of the company’s stock.

Diageo Company Profile

Diageo plc, together with its subsidiaries, produces, markets, and sells alcoholic beverages worldwide. The company offers a collection of brands across spirits, beer, cider, and wine categories. Its brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Buchanan's and Windsor whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Bundaberg, McDowell's No.

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Analyst Recommendations for Diageo (NYSE:DEO)

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