International Paper (IP) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

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International Paper (NYSE:IP) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Hurricane Florence had a negative impact of $36 million on International Paper’s third-quarter results, which included $8 million in volume and $28 million in operations. Notably, three mills and three box plants were impacted. The company expects a $15 million impact in the fourth quarter, mostly in the Global Cellulose Fibers business. Distribution costs are trending upwards lately due to a very tight truck and rail availability as well as higher diesel fuel cost. This, along with elevated input costs (fiber, chemicals, energy, and freight) will suppress margins in the near term. “

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 price target on shares of International Paper in a research note on Tuesday, January 8th. Argus decreased their price target on shares of International Paper from $70.00 to $55.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 29th. Citigroup decreased their price target on shares of International Paper from $67.00 to $51.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, October 11th. Deutsche Bank set a $55.00 price target on shares of International Paper and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, October 29th. Finally, Wells Fargo & Co lowered shares of International Paper from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 9th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $57.00.

Shares of International Paper stock traded up $0.47 during mid-day trading on Thursday, hitting $44.71. 1,576,645 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 3,518,985. International Paper has a twelve month low of $37.55 and a twelve month high of $66.94. The stock has a market capitalization of $18.32 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.81, a P/E/G ratio of 0.86 and a beta of 1.48. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.52, a current ratio of 1.59 and a quick ratio of 1.13.

International Paper (NYSE:IP) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The basic materials company reported $1.56 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.47 by $0.09. International Paper had a net margin of 13.68% and a return on equity of 29.75%. The company had revenue of $5.90 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.90 billion. As a group, analysts forecast that International Paper will post 5.3 EPS for the current year.

International Paper declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback program on Tuesday, October 9th that authorizes the company to buyback $430.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the basic materials company to repurchase up to 2.1% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in IP. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in International Paper by 0.3% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 31,253,119 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,536,091,000 after buying an additional 101,749 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc raised its holdings in International Paper by 0.3% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 31,253,119 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,536,091,000 after buying an additional 101,749 shares during the period. LSV Asset Management raised its holdings in International Paper by 10.3% in the third quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 4,723,998 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $232,184,000 after buying an additional 439,685 shares during the period. Morgan Stanley raised its holdings in International Paper by 8.7% in the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 3,542,394 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $174,109,000 after buying an additional 284,827 shares during the period. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its holdings in International Paper by 28.9% in the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,477,279 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $121,793,000 after buying an additional 555,339 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 80.91% of the company’s stock.

About International Paper

International Paper Company operates as a paper and packaging company primarily in North America, Europe, Latin America, North Africa, India, and Russia. It operates through three segments: Industrial Packaging, Global Cellulose Fibers, and Printing Papers. The Industrial Packaging segment manufactures containerboards, including linerboard, medium, whitetop, recycled linerboard, recycled medium, and saturating kraft.

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Analyst Recommendations for International Paper (NYSE:IP)

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