Zacks Investment Research Lowers Freshpet, Inc. (FRPT) to Hold

Freshpet, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRPT) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Freshpet Inc. is a pet food company. The company manufactures and markets natural fresh foods, refrigerated meals, and treats for dogs and cats in the United States and Canada. Freshpet provides meats- based recipes, such as chicken, beef, lamb and salmon; fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, peas and leafy green vegetables, and high-fiber grains, such as brown rice, oats and barley. It sells its products under the Freshpet, Dognation, and Dog Joy brand names. Freshpet Inc. is headquartered in Secaucus, New Jersey. “

Several other brokerages have also commented on FRPT. Imperial Capital began coverage on Freshpet in a research note on Thursday, July 20th. They set an “in-line” rating and a $16.50 price target on the stock. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “buy” rating and set a $20.00 price target (up previously from $14.00) on shares of Freshpet in a research note on Thursday, July 20th. Credit Suisse Group boosted their price target on Freshpet from $12.00 to $15.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, June 16th. BidaskClub lowered Freshpet from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, August 4th. Finally, SunTrust Banks, Inc. boosted their price target on Freshpet from $15.00 to $20.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. Freshpet presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $15.69.

Shares of Freshpet (FRPT) traded down 3.93% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $15.90. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 282,313 shares. The firm’s market capitalization is $505.62 million. Freshpet has a 52 week low of $7.60 and a 52 week high of $18.25. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $16.50 and a 200 day moving average price of $13.20.

Freshpet (NASDAQ:FRPT) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, August 7th. The company reported ($0.08) earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of ($0.07) by $0.01. Freshpet had a negative net margin of 2.57% and a negative return on equity of 3.46%. The business had revenue of $39.97 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $38.09 million. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted ($0.10) EPS. Freshpet’s revenue for the quarter was up 21.1% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Freshpet will post ($0.07) EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, CFO Richard A. Kassar sold 15,125 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, June 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $15.26, for a total value of $230,807.50. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 215,119 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,282,715.94. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider Scott James Morris sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $14.20, for a total value of $71,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 202,307 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,872,759.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 25,125 shares of company stock worth $385,458 in the last three months. Corporate insiders own 8.20% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. State Street Corp raised its stake in Freshpet by 7.8% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 323,264 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,281,000 after buying an additional 23,391 shares during the last quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC raised its stake in Freshpet by 1.2% in the fourth quarter. Teachers Advisors LLC now owns 34,476 shares of the company’s stock worth $350,000 after buying an additional 396 shares during the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its stake in Freshpet by 4.2% in the first quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 160,359 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,763,000 after buying an additional 6,443 shares during the last quarter. Emerald Mutual Fund Advisers Trust bought a new stake in Freshpet during the first quarter worth about $2,891,000. Finally, Emerald Advisers Inc. PA raised its stake in Freshpet by 30.4% in the first quarter. Emerald Advisers Inc. PA now owns 575,586 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,331,000 after buying an additional 134,308 shares during the last quarter. 65.49% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Freshpet

Freshpet, Inc is a manufacturer of fresh, refrigerated pet food distributed across North America. The Company operates in the segment of manufacturing, marketing and distribution of pet food and pet treats for dogs and cats. The Company’s products consist of dog food, cat food, and dog and cat treats.

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Analyst Recommendations for Freshpet (NASDAQ:FRPT)

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