Kellogg (NYSE:K) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “Kellogg has lagged the industry in the past three months, owing to high costs related to brand enhancement, among others. These factors dented Kellogg’s earnings in fourth-quarter 2018 and outlook for 2019. Markedly, high investments, mix shifts and cost inflation related to expansion of other pack formats and networks are likely to dent adjusted operating profit in 2019. These along with the absence of tax benefits are expected to dent the bottom line that is likely to drop 5-7%. Also, the company is expected to face currency woes. Nonetheless, Kellogg’s sales picture looks bright, owing to its solid buyouts that boosted the top line in the fourth quarter. Kellogg expects revenues to grow about 3-4% in 2019, backed by Multipro’s consolidation and organic sales growth. Also, Kellogg’s revenue-growth management efforts are likely to fuel volumes and price/mix. Kellogg’s productivity saving efforts are noteworthy.”
K has been the topic of a number of other reports. BMO Capital Markets raised their price target on shares of Kellogg to $70.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 14th. Guggenheim began coverage on shares of Kellogg in a research note on Tuesday, January 22nd. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $58.70 price target on the stock. ValuEngine lowered shares of Kellogg from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 1st. UBS Group set a $65.00 target price on shares of Kellogg and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 1st. Finally, Credit Suisse Group cut their price target on shares of Kellogg from $75.00 to $70.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Thursday, November 1st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $64.92.
Kellogg (NYSE:K) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 7th. The company reported $0.91 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.88 by $0.03. The company had revenue of $3.32 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.31 billion. Kellogg had a return on equity of 47.10% and a net margin of 9.86%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.96 EPS. On average, analysts expect that Kellogg will post 4.06 EPS for the current year.
In related news, major shareholder Kellogg W. K. Foundation Trust sold 100,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, February 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.76, for a total value of $5,476,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Chairman Steven A. Cahillane purchased 17,825 shares of Kellogg stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 19th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $61.63 per share, with a total value of $1,098,554.75. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 680,000 shares of company stock valued at $40,102,200. Insiders own 1.40% of the company’s stock.
Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Acima Private Wealth LLC acquired a new position in Kellogg during the fourth quarter worth about $25,000. Bruderman Asset Management LLC grew its position in Kellogg by 275.0% during the fourth quarter. Bruderman Asset Management LLC now owns 435 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,000 after buying an additional 319 shares during the period. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its position in Kellogg by 5,672.3% during the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 1,568,573 shares of the company’s stock worth $28,000 after buying an additional 1,541,399 shares during the period. Capital Investment Advisory Services LLC acquired a new position in Kellogg during the fourth quarter worth about $50,000. Finally, Highwater Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in Kellogg during the fourth quarter worth about $70,000. 87.01% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
Kellogg Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets ready-to-eat cereal and convenience foods. The company operates through U.S. Morning Foods, U.S. Snacks, U.S. Specialty, North America Other, Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific segments. Its principal products include cookies, crackers, savory snacks, toaster pastries, cereal bars, granola bars and bites, fruit-flavored snacks, ready-to-eat cereals, frozen waffles, and veggie foods.
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