Zacks Investment Research Lowers International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) to Sell

International Flavors & Fragrances (NYSE:IFF) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “For 2019, International Flavors expects sales to be $5.2-$5.3 billion. Adjusted earnings per share are anticipated to be $4.90-$5.10 while adjusted earnings, excluding amortization, are likely to be $6.30-$6.50. Raw material cost inflation is likely to dent margins in 2019, particularly in the scent segment. The company might not be able to combat raw material inflation with price increases, given the aggressive price competition, which would negatively impact profits. Unfavorable foreign currency will also be a headwind for its 2019 results. Higher debt to fund the Frutarom acquisition and the subsequent interest expenses also remain concerns. The company has underperformed the industry over the past year. “

Other analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. KeyCorp lowered their price target on shares of International Flavors & Fragrances from $160.00 to $143.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, February 25th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of International Flavors & Fragrances from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, January 10th. Seaport Global Securities assumed coverage on shares of International Flavors & Fragrances in a report on Thursday, February 21st. They set a “neutral” rating on the stock. Barclays reissued a “sell” rating on shares of International Flavors & Fragrances in a report on Monday, February 18th. Finally, Citigroup lowered their price target on shares of International Flavors & Fragrances from $146.00 to $139.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Thursday, February 21st. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $144.33.

Shares of NYSE:IFF traded down $0.18 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $135.16. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 11,148 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,048,606. The firm has a market capitalization of $14.29 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.52, a PEG ratio of 2.34 and a beta of 0.75. International Flavors & Fragrances has a twelve month low of $121.85 and a twelve month high of $150.57. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.75, a current ratio of 2.61 and a quick ratio of 1.65.

International Flavors & Fragrances (NYSE:IFF) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 13th. The specialty chemicals company reported $1.22 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.29 by ($0.07). International Flavors & Fragrances had a return on equity of 15.56% and a net margin of 8.48%. The firm had revenue of $1.22 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.24 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.40 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 42.6% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts anticipate that International Flavors & Fragrances will post 6.36 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, major shareholder Winder Investment Pte Ltd acquired 50,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 19th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $129.04 per share, with a total value of $6,452,000.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the insider now directly owns 20,210,193 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,607,923,304.72. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Over the last ninety days, insiders have acquired 165,588 shares of company stock worth $21,637,048. Insiders own 0.39% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of IFF. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in International Flavors & Fragrances by 3.5% during the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 271,022 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $37,703,000 after purchasing an additional 9,059 shares in the last quarter. Mirae Asset Global Investments Co. Ltd. purchased a new position in International Flavors & Fragrances during the third quarter valued at $332,000. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company lifted its holdings in International Flavors & Fragrances by 2.1% during the third quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 82,229 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $11,440,000 after purchasing an additional 1,698 shares in the last quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in International Flavors & Fragrances by 18.8% during the third quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 4,346 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $605,000 after purchasing an additional 688 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Veritable L.P. purchased a new position in International Flavors & Fragrances during the third quarter valued at $201,000. 83.19% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About International Flavors & Fragrances

International Flavors & Fragrances Inc, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures flavors and fragrances for use in various consumer products. It operates through three segments: Taste, Scent, and Frutarom. The Taste segment offers flavor compounds primarily to the food and beverage industries for use in consumer products, such as prepared foods, beverages, dairy, food, and sweet products.

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