Graphic Packaging (GPK) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Graphic Packaging (NYSE:GPK) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “GRAPHIC PACKAGING CORPORATION, headquartered in Marietta, Georgia, is a leading provider of paperboard packaging solutions for a wide variety of products to food, beverage and other consumer products companies. Graphic Packaging’s customers include some of the most widely recognized companies in the world. “

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Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the company. BMO Capital Markets lowered their price objective on Graphic Packaging from $18.00 to $17.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, February 7th. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a buy rating and set a $19.00 price objective on shares of Graphic Packaging in a research report on Thursday, February 1st. Citigroup lowered their price objective on Graphic Packaging from $19.00 to $18.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, April 5th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Graphic Packaging from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 3rd. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $17.31.

Shares of Graphic Packaging stock opened at $15.87 on Thursday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.63, a current ratio of 1.37 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.71. The firm has a market cap of $4,893.51, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.19, a PEG ratio of 3.63 and a beta of 1.15. Graphic Packaging has a 12 month low of $12.65 and a 12 month high of $16.74.

Graphic Packaging (NYSE:GPK) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 6th. The industrial products company reported $0.17 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.19 by ($0.02). The firm had revenue of $1.11 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.11 billion. Graphic Packaging had a net margin of 6.82% and a return on equity of 17.09%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 5.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.14 EPS. sell-side analysts anticipate that Graphic Packaging will post 0.87 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, April 5th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, March 15th were issued a dividend of $0.075 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $0.30 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.89%. Graphic Packaging’s payout ratio is presently 47.62%.

In other news, SVP Joseph P. Yost sold 15,137 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $15.60, for a total transaction of $236,137.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 343,472 shares in the company, valued at $5,358,163.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Alan R. Nichols sold 150,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $15.50, for a total value of $2,325,000.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 123,885 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,920,217.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 215,137 shares of company stock valued at $3,311,137 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.62% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB bought a new stake in Graphic Packaging in the 4th quarter worth about $407,000. Canyon Capital Advisors LLC increased its holdings in Graphic Packaging by 85.2% in the 4th quarter. Canyon Capital Advisors LLC now owns 13,330,720 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $205,960,000 after buying an additional 6,132,069 shares in the last quarter. Vident Investment Advisory LLC increased its holdings in Graphic Packaging by 12.1% in the 4th quarter. Vident Investment Advisory LLC now owns 237,079 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $3,663,000 after buying an additional 25,496 shares in the last quarter. Crestline Management LP bought a new stake in Graphic Packaging in the 4th quarter worth about $1,332,000. Finally, PEAK6 Investments L.P. increased its holdings in Graphic Packaging by 221.3% in the 4th quarter. PEAK6 Investments L.P. now owns 102,758 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $1,588,000 after buying an additional 70,774 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 99.83% of the company’s stock.

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About Graphic Packaging

Graphic Packaging Holding Company is a provider of paper-based packaging solutions for a range of products to food, beverage and other consumer product companies. The Company’s segments include Paperboard Mills, Americas Paperboard Packaging, Europe Paperboard Packaging, and Corporate and Other. The Paperboard Mills segment includes the Company’s North American paperboard mills, which produce primarily coated unbleached kraft and coated recycled board.

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