Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. (BUFF) Raised to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:BUFF) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Tuesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $33.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. develops, produces, markets and sells pet food primarily in the United States. The Company’s product lines include BLUE Life Protection Formula, BLUE Wilderness, BLUE Basics, BLUE Freedom and BLUE Naturally Fresh line. It offers dry foods, wet foods as well as treats for puppies, adult dogs, senior dogs and litters for kittens, adult cats and mature cats. Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. is headquartered in Wilton, Connecticut. “

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on BUFF. Off Wall Street began coverage on shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products in a report on Wednesday, June 21st. They issued a sell rating for the company. Imperial Capital began coverage on shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. They issued an outperform rating and a $30.00 price target for the company. J P Morgan Chase & Co restated an overweight rating and issued a $25.00 price target (down from $28.00) on shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products in a report on Wednesday, June 28th. BidaskClub cut shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Tuesday, July 11th. Finally, Robert W. Baird began coverage on shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products in a report on Monday, July 24th. They issued a neutral rating and a $23.00 price target for the company. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Blue Buffalo Pet Products currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $29.36.

Shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products (BUFF) traded down 0.03% during trading on Tuesday, hitting $28.81. 149,628 shares of the stock were exchanged. Blue Buffalo Pet Products has a 52 week low of $21.51 and a 52 week high of $29.44. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $27.61 and its 200-day moving average price is $27.61. The stock has a market cap of $5.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 40.58 and a beta of 1.94.

Blue Buffalo Pet Products (NASDAQ:BUFF) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, August 8th. The company reported $0.21 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.21. Blue Buffalo Pet Products had a net margin of 12.13% and a return on equity of 98.02%. The company had revenue of $294.80 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $301.88 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.19 earnings per share. Blue Buffalo Pet Products’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.8% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Blue Buffalo Pet Products will post $0.92 EPS for the current year.

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Blue Buffalo Pet Products declared that its board has authorized a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, August 8th that allows the company to repurchase $50.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to repurchase up to 1.2% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares repurchase plans are typically a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In other Blue Buffalo Pet Products news, CFO Michael Nathenson sold 50,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $25.00, for a total value of $1,250,000.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 50,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,250,000. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Insiders sold 187,072 shares of company stock worth $4,736,802 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 7.70% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in BUFF. FMR LLC lifted its stake in shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products by 360.6% in the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 3,320,428 shares of the company’s stock valued at $75,739,000 after buying an additional 2,599,478 shares in the last quarter. Harris Associates L P bought a new position in shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products in the second quarter valued at $53,476,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its stake in shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products by 50.3% in the second quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 5,235,035 shares of the company’s stock valued at $119,411,000 after buying an additional 1,752,086 shares in the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC lifted its stake in shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products by 69.8% in the first quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 3,523,195 shares of the company’s stock valued at $81,033,000 after buying an additional 1,447,859 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its stake in shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products by 88.5% in the first quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 2,226,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $51,214,000 after buying an additional 1,045,700 shares in the last quarter. 88.74% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Blue Buffalo Pet Products Company Profile

Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc (BBPP) is a holding company. The Company operates as a pet food company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, develops, produces, markets and sells pet food under product lines, including BLUE Life Protection Formula, BLUE Wilderness, BLUE Basics, BLUE Freedom and BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet lines.

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Analyst Recommendations for Blue Buffalo Pet Products (NASDAQ:BUFF)

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