Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of International Paper (NYSE:IP) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Tuesday morning.
According to Zacks, “International Paper has strategically offloaded businesses in China to focus more on its U.S. operations. It has completed the divesture of its consumer packaging business in North America to Graphic Packaging. In North America, the company envisions a large opportunity within its industrial packaging businesses, which continue to generate the best margins in the industry. The company is taking initiatives to drive further margin expansion over time across the business. However, high pension obligations remain a significant headwind. Adverse foreign currency translation is further likely to strain its bottom line. Moreover, trade protection measures in favor of local producers of competing products, including governmental subsidies, tax benefits and other measures giving local producers a competitive advantage over International Paper, remain headwinds. International Paper has also underperformed the industry in the last three months.”
A number of other equities research analysts have also weighed in on the company. ValuEngine lowered International Paper from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 15th. Bank of America raised International Paper from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $66.00 target price for the company in a research note on Tuesday, January 2nd. Wells Fargo & Co reissued an outperform rating and issued a $70.00 target price (up previously from $65.00) on shares of International Paper in a research note on Monday, January 8th. KeyCorp reissued a hold rating on shares of International Paper in a research note on Tuesday, January 2nd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reissued a buy rating and issued a $62.00 target price on shares of International Paper in a research note on Friday, November 24th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $65.17.
International Paper (NYSE:IP) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The basic materials company reported $1.27 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.19 by $0.08. International Paper had a return on equity of 29.05% and a net margin of 9.36%. The firm had revenue of $5.71 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $6.01 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.67 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 14.2% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts forecast that International Paper will post 4.82 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, February 21st will be issued a dividend of $0.475 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, February 20th. This represents a $1.90 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.44%. International Paper’s dividend payout ratio is presently 89.62%.
A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT increased its holdings in International Paper by 20.4% during the 3rd quarter. Iridian Asset Management LLC CT now owns 6,432,080 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $365,471,000 after purchasing an additional 1,090,030 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of International Paper by 4.0% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 4,268,853 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $246,807,000 after acquiring an additional 162,992 shares during the period. Sound Shore Management Inc. CT grew its holdings in shares of International Paper by 7.8% during the 3rd quarter. Sound Shore Management Inc. CT now owns 3,624,456 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $205,942,000 after acquiring an additional 263,372 shares during the period. Eaton Vance Management grew its holdings in shares of International Paper by 1.8% during the 4th quarter. Eaton Vance Management now owns 2,563,468 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $148,527,000 after acquiring an additional 46,189 shares during the period. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB grew its holdings in shares of International Paper by 11.5% during the 3rd quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 2,442,847 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $138,803,000 after acquiring an additional 251,751 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 81.59% of the company’s stock.
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About International Paper
International Paper Company 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’s segments include Industrial Packaging, Global Cellulose Fibers, Printing Papers and Consumer Packaging.
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