Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Zoetis Inc (ZTS) to Buy

Zoetis Inc (NYSE:ZTS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, May 10th. The firm currently has a $67.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 11.09% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Zoetis’ first-quarter results were better than expected, with the company surpassing bottom-line estimates along with revenues. The growth in revenues was driven by sales of companion animal products such as Simparica, Apoquel and Cytopoint while the livestock portfolio was driven by growth in swine, cattle and fish across the international markets. Zoetis’ expects to see stronger growth from its companion animal portfolio in 2017 driven by Apoquel and Cytopoint, further penetration of Simparica, and ongoing uptake of new vaccines. Favorable market conditions contributed to swine performance in China as well as cattle product sales in Brazil. The company maintained its outlook for 2017. The company received approval for Cytopoint in the European Union in Apr 2017 and in Canada in Mar 2017. Shares of Zoetis have outperformed the industry in the past one year.”

A number of other analysts have also weighed in on the company. Craig Hallum initiated coverage on Zoetis in a research note on Wednesday, March 15th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $65.00 target price on the stock. Off Wall Street reissued a “strong sell” rating and set a $35.00 price target on shares of Zoetis in a research report on Thursday, February 16th. Jefferies Group LLC raised their price objective on Zoetis from $62.00 to $64.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, January 20th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and set a $60.00 price objective on shares of Zoetis in a research report on Sunday, February 19th. Finally, Guggenheim raised their price target on Zoetis from $60.00 to $65.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, February 16th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, ten have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $58.50.

Analyst Recommendations for Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS)

Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) traded up 0.67% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $60.31. 2,567,745 shares of the company were exchanged. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $56.04 and its 200 day moving average is $53.59. The company has a market capitalization of $29.60 billion, a P/E ratio of 35.06 and a beta of 1.07. Zoetis has a one year low of $45.28 and a one year high of $60.61.

Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) last released its earnings results on Thursday, May 4th. The company reported $0.53 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.48 by $0.05. Zoetis had a return on equity of 72.96% and a net margin of 14.10%. The business had revenue of $1.23 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.20 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.48 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 5.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts anticipate that Zoetis will post $2.34 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 1st. Investors of record on Thursday, June 15th will be given a $0.105 dividend. This represents a $0.42 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 0.70%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, June 13th. Zoetis’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 30.44%.

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In related news, insider Catherine A. Knupp sold 5,785 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, May 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.16, for a total value of $348,025.60. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 24,415 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,468,806.40. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Company insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of ZTS. Assetmark Inc. increased its position in shares of Zoetis by 4.6% in the first quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 1,918 shares of the company’s stock worth $102,000 after buying an additional 85 shares during the last quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America increased its position in shares of Zoetis by 0.7% in the first quarter. Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America now owns 1,905 shares of the company’s stock valued at $102,000 after buying an additional 13 shares in the last quarter. Point72 Asia Hong Kong Ltd acquired a new position in shares of Zoetis during the first quarter valued at about $111,000. Advisory Services Network LLC acquired a new position in shares of Zoetis during the first quarter valued at about $112,000. Finally, First Interstate Bank increased its position in shares of Zoetis by 17.5% in the fourth quarter. First Interstate Bank now owns 2,174 shares of the company’s stock valued at $116,000 after buying an additional 324 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 94.54% of the company’s stock.

Zoetis Company Profile

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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