Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of International Paper Co. (NYSE:IP) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday morning. They currently have $55.00 price objective on the stock.
According to Zacks, “International Paper is undergoing restructuring initiatives to transform itself into a core packaging firm. The acquisition of Weyerhaeuser’s pulp business will strengthen International Paper’s position in the global fluff pulp market and augment its operating cash flow. In addition, the company expects the transaction to generate annual synergies of approximately $175 million by 2018 along with a higher flexibility to manage a wide portfolio of products through superior R&D capabilities and priceless patent portfolio. In North America, the company also envisions a large opportunity within its industrial packaging businesses. International Paper has a positive earnings surprise history, having beaten estimates in each of the trailing four quarters. Earnings estimates have remained steady over the last week. However, huge pension obligations and volatility in raw material prices could reduce its profitability.”
A number of other brokerages have also weighed in on IP. Vetr raised International Paper from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $46.81 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, June 14th. Wells Fargo & Co. reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of International Paper in a report on Monday, June 20th. Jefferies Group lifted their price objective on International Paper from $47.00 to $49.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Friday, July 29th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a sector perform rating and issued a $42.00 price objective on shares of International Paper in a report on Friday, July 29th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $47.00 price objective on shares of International Paper in a report on Monday, August 1st. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $47.71.
International Paper (NYSE:IP) opened at 47.30 on Monday. International Paper has a one year low of $32.50 and a one year high of $49.90. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $48.06 and its 200 day moving average price is $44.17. The firm has a market capitalization of $19.45 billion, a PE ratio of 25.62 and a beta of 1.55.
International Paper (NYSE:IP) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.92 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.84 by $0.08. The firm had revenue of $5.30 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.32 billion. International Paper had a return on equity of 35.41% and a net margin of 3.58%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 6.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.97 EPS. Analysts expect that International Paper will post $3.49 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 15th were issued a $0.44 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 11th. This represents a $1.76 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.72%. International Paper’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 94.12%.
In other International Paper news, insider Thomas G. Kadien sold 10,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.86, for a total value of $478,600.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CFO Carol L. Roberts sold 12,256 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.20, for a total value of $566,227.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.64% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Summit Financial Wealth Advisors LLC increased its stake in International Paper by 37.2% in the third quarter. Summit Financial Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 18,752 shares of the company’s stock worth $900,000 after buying an additional 5,080 shares during the last quarter. Lynch & Associates IN increased its stake in International Paper by 4.9% in the third quarter. Lynch & Associates IN now owns 28,338 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,360,000 after buying an additional 1,325 shares during the last quarter. Kentucky Retirement Systems Insurance Trust Fund purchased a new stake in International Paper during the second quarter worth approximately $704,000. Kentucky Retirement Systems purchased a new stake in International Paper during the second quarter worth approximately $1,482,000. Finally, Mason Street Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in International Paper during the second quarter worth approximately $2,347,000. Institutional investors own 81.73% of the company’s stock.
About International Paper
International Paper Company (International Paper) is a paper and packaging company with primary markets and manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Russia, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The Company operates in three segments: Industrial Packaging, Printing Papers and Consumer Packaging.
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