Dean Foods (DF) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday. The firm currently has a $13.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 15.35% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Dean Foods outperformed the industry in the past three months due to optimism on the smart volume initiative, which is expected to aid results. This initiative is aimed at improving top-line, building margins and creating operating efficiencies. In third-quarter 2017, the company’s results gained from overall solid sales execution and stringent progress on its smart volumes initiative, which helped in wining some new business for 2018. On the flip side, the company has been witnessing a dismal sales trend evident from the second straight quarter miss in third-quarter due to soft volumes, higher raw milk costs, and loss of share in U.S. fluid milk volumes. While this is a concern, the company expects to bring more smart volumes into its system to aid top line growth. Further, the company’s initiatives to strengthen brands and diversify portfolio bode well. Estimates have been stable lately ahead of the fourth quarter earnings.”

Several other analysts also recently commented on the company. Vertical Group raised Dean Foods from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Monday, January 8th. Credit Suisse Group lowered their price objective on Dean Foods from $10.00 to $8.50 and set an “underperform” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, November 8th. Morgan Stanley decreased their price target on Dean Foods from $10.00 to $9.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and set a $12.00 price target (down from $15.00) on shares of Dean Foods in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th. Finally, Jefferies Group set a $16.00 price target on Dean Foods and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Sunday, October 29th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $13.05.

Shares of Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) opened at $11.27 on Thursday. The company has a market capitalization of $1,014.54, a P/E ratio of 24.50, a PEG ratio of 0.98 and a beta of 0.59. Dean Foods has a 52 week low of $9.01 and a 52 week high of $20.84. The company has a quick ratio of 0.93, a current ratio of 1.28 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.33.

Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 7th. The company reported $0.20 EPS for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.20. The firm had revenue of $1.94 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.97 billion. Dean Foods had a return on equity of 14.04% and a net margin of 0.53%. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $0.37 earnings per share. equities research analysts predict that Dean Foods will post 0.81 EPS for the current year.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. California Public Employees Retirement System increased its position in shares of Dean Foods by 1.2% during the second quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 249,045 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,234,000 after acquiring an additional 2,900 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Dean Foods by 1.2% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,384,396 shares of the company’s stock valued at $193,534,000 after acquiring an additional 129,537 shares during the last quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Dean Foods by 55.2% during the second quarter. Sterling Capital Management LLC now owns 59,601 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,013,000 after acquiring an additional 21,202 shares during the last quarter. Smith Graham & Co. Investment Advisors LP increased its position in shares of Dean Foods by 70.0% during the third quarter. Smith Graham & Co. Investment Advisors LP now owns 712,190 shares of the company’s stock valued at $7,749,000 after acquiring an additional 293,190 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Aperio Group LLC grew its holdings in Dean Foods by 53.7% during the third quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 124,751 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,357,000 after purchasing an additional 43,610 shares during the period. 94.08% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Dean Foods

Dean Foods Company is a food and beverage company. The Company processes and distributes fluid milk, and other dairy and dairy case products in the United States. It is engaged in manufacturing, marketing, selling and distributing a range of branded and private label dairy and dairy case products. It offers branded and private label dairy case products, including fluid milk, ice cream, cultured dairy products, creamers, ice cream mix and other dairy products to retailers, distributors, foodservice outlets, educational institutions and governmental entities across the United States.

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