Sonoco Products (SON) Lowered to “Sell” at Vertical Research

Vertical Research lowered shares of Sonoco Products (NYSE:SON) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Tuesday, The Fly reports.

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on SON. Zacks Investment Research lowered Sonoco Products from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Monday, December 17th. KeyCorp restated a hold rating on shares of Sonoco Products in a research note on Thursday, February 14th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co reiterated a hold rating on shares of Sonoco Products in a research note on Thursday, February 14th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have issued a hold rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $56.50.

Shares of SON stock opened at $61.25 on Tuesday. Sonoco Products has a 52-week low of $49.71 and a 52-week high of $62.96. The company has a market cap of $6.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.18, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.82 and a beta of 1.01. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67, a current ratio of 1.40 and a quick ratio of 0.95.

Sonoco Products (NYSE:SON) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 14th. The industrial products company reported $0.84 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.81 by $0.03. The business had revenue of $1.36 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.37 billion. Sonoco Products had a return on equity of 18.94% and a net margin of 5.82%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.72 EPS. Research analysts expect that Sonoco Products will post 3.52 EPS for the current year.

In other news, SVP Kevin P. Mahoney sold 1,119 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, February 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.57, for a total value of $66,658.83. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 2,295 shares in the company, valued at approximately $136,713.15. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CFO Barry L. Saunders sold 5,547 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.68, for a total transaction of $331,044.96. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 77,719 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,638,269.92. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 20,829 shares of company stock valued at $1,245,466 over the last 90 days. Insiders own 1.30% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its stake in shares of Sonoco Products by 5,213.0% during the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 2,066,704 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $39,000 after purchasing an additional 2,027,805 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new stake in Sonoco Products in the 4th quarter valued at $55,542,000. BlackRock Inc. boosted its holdings in Sonoco Products by 3.1% in the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,331,928 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $602,065,000 after purchasing an additional 336,758 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley boosted its holdings in Sonoco Products by 82.9% in the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 689,382 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $38,261,000 after purchasing an additional 312,414 shares during the period. Finally, APG Asset Management N.V. bought a new stake in Sonoco Products in the 4th quarter valued at $14,338,000. 74.49% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Sonoco Products Company Profile

Sonoco Products Company manufactures and sells industrial and consumer packaging products in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The company operates through four segments: Consumer Packaging, Display and Packaging, Paper and Industrial Converted Products, and Protective Solutions. The Consumer Packaging segment offers composite and thermoformed plastic round and shaped rigid containers and trays; extruded and injection-molded plastic products; printed flexible packaging products; brand artwork management; and metal and peelable membrane ends and closures.

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