Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Ingredion (INGR) to “Hold”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ingredion (NYSE:INGR) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Ingredion Incorporated is an ingredients solutions provider specializing in nature-based sweeteners, starches and nutrition ingredients. The Company serves diverse sectors in food, beverage, brewing, pharmaceuticals and other industries. Its sweetener products include dextrose, glucose, polyols, HFCS and Maltodextrin. The Company’s nutrition solutions include prebiotic fibers, resistant starch, soluble fibers and Inulin fibers. Its starch-based products include both industrial and food-grade starches. Ingredion Incorporated, formerly known as Corn Products International, Inc., is headquartered in Chicago. “

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INGR has been the topic of several other research reports. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Ingredion from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, March 2nd. Credit Suisse Group set a $156.00 price target on shares of Ingredion and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 10th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $146.00.

Shares of NYSE:INGR opened at $126.89 on Thursday. Ingredion has a 52 week low of $113.42 and a 52 week high of $146.28. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.60, a quick ratio of 1.66 and a current ratio of 2.52. The firm has a market capitalization of $9,166.03, a PE ratio of 16.48, a PEG ratio of 1.39 and a beta of 0.75.

Ingredion (NYSE:INGR) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $1.73 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.74 by ($0.01). Ingredion had a net margin of 8.63% and a return on equity of 20.42%. The firm had revenue of $1.74 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.43 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.67 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 24.2% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts forecast that Ingredion will post 8.3 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 25th. Investors of record on Monday, April 2nd will be given a dividend of $0.60 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, March 29th. This represents a $2.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.89%. Ingredion’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 31.17%.

In related news, SVP Robert J. Stefansic sold 9,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $129.62, for a total transaction of $1,166,580.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP Martin Sonntag sold 14,939 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $135.00, for a total transaction of $2,016,765.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 9,875 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,333,125. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 40,541 shares of company stock worth $5,424,781. 1.92% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Retirement Systems of Alabama lifted its position in Ingredion by 0.3% during the 4th quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 135,726 shares of the company’s stock worth $18,974,000 after buying an additional 437 shares in the last quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado lifted its position in Ingredion by 3.5% during the 4th quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado now owns 13,430 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,878,000 after buying an additional 455 shares in the last quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in Ingredion by 15.2% during the 4th quarter. Pzena Investment Management LLC now owns 3,495 shares of the company’s stock worth $489,000 after purchasing an additional 462 shares during the last quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec raised its holdings in Ingredion by 1.9% during the 3rd quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 26,700 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,235,000 after purchasing an additional 500 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC raised its holdings in Ingredion by 66.8% during the 4th quarter. Steward Partners Investment Advisory LLC now owns 1,249 shares of the company’s stock worth $174,000 after purchasing an additional 500 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 86.52% of the company’s stock.

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About Ingredion

Ingredion Incorporated, together with its subsidiaries, produces and sells starches and sweeteners for various industries. The company operates through four segments: North America, South America, Asia Pacific and Europe, and Middle East and Africa. It offers sweetener products comprising glucose syrups, high maltose syrups, high fructose corn syrups, caramel colors, dextrose, polyols, maltodextrins, glucose and syrup solids, as well as food-grade and industrial starches, and biomaterials.

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