Sonoco Products Company (SON) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Sonoco Products Company (NYSE:SON) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report released on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “For 2017, Sonoco projects earnings per share in the range of $2.73–$2.80 . The mid-point of the guidance reflects a year-over-year growth of 1.7%. The complementary acquisitions of Clear Lam Packaging and Peninsula Packaging significantly expand Sonoco’s flexible packaging and thermoforming plastics capabilities to meet growing consumer demand for more fresh and healthy foods. Additionally, it remains focused on accelerating organic growth, improving manufacturing productivity and gaining market share. The company has a mixed record of earnings surprises in the last few quarters. However, weak volumes in Consumer Packaging, higher input costs remain concerns. Sonoco has underperformed the industry in the past year.”

SON has been the topic of several other reports. Bank of America Corporation upgraded Sonoco Products from an underperform rating to a buy rating and set a $56.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, September 6th. Robert W. Baird upgraded Sonoco Products from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and lifted their target price for the company from $55.00 to $60.00 in a research report on Wednesday, July 19th. Vertical Research upgraded Sonoco Products from a sell rating to a hold rating and set a $45.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, August 2nd. Jefferies Group LLC reiterated a hold rating and set a $48.00 target price on shares of Sonoco Products in a research report on Thursday, August 3rd. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded Sonoco Products from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Thursday, July 27th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $52.00.

Shares of Sonoco Products (NYSE SON) traded up 2.08% during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $53.11. The company had a trading volume of 818,328 shares. The stock has a market capitalization of $5.28 billion, a P/E ratio of 20.16 and a beta of 1.13. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $50.01 and a 200-day moving average of $50.48. Sonoco Products has a one year low of $47.10 and a one year high of $55.58.

Sonoco Products (NYSE:SON) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 19th. The industrial products company reported $0.76 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.74 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $1.32 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.27 billion. Sonoco Products had a return on equity of 16.40% and a net margin of 5.63%. Sonoco Products’s quarterly revenue was up 9.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.72 earnings per share. Analysts forecast that Sonoco Products will post $2.76 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 8th. Stockholders of record on Friday, November 10th will be given a $0.39 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, November 9th. This represents a $1.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.94%. Sonoco Products’s payout ratio is 57.35%.

In other news, VP Marcy J. Thompson sold 565 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.00, for a total value of $28,815.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 1.90% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Harfst & Associates Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Sonoco Products in the second quarter valued at about $126,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its position in shares of Sonoco Products by 18.6% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 3,752 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $193,000 after acquiring an additional 589 shares in the last quarter. Seven Eight Capital LP purchased a new position in shares of Sonoco Products in the second quarter valued at about $206,000. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. lifted its position in shares of Sonoco Products by 8.9% in the first quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 4,190 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $222,000 after acquiring an additional 342 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Jane Street Group LLC purchased a new position in shares of Sonoco Products in the first quarter valued at about $224,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.46% of the company’s stock.

About Sonoco Products

Sonoco Products Company is engaged in manufacturing of industrial and consumer packaging products, and providing packaging services. The Company operates in four segments: Consumer Packaging, Paper and Industrial Converted Products, Display and Packaging, and Protective Solutions. Its Consumer Packaging segment’s products and services include round composite cans, aluminum, steel and peelable membrane easy-open closures for composite and metal cans; plastic bottles, cups and trays, and printed flexible packaging and global brand management.

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