Ardagh Group (NYSE:ARD) Upgraded to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Ardagh Group (NYSE:ARD) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report released on Wednesday morning, Zacks.com reports. They currently have $22.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Ardagh Group S.A. provides metal and glass packaging solutions, producing packaging for food, beverage and consumer brands. Ardagh Group S.A. is based in Luxembourg. “

A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on ARD. JPMorgan Chase & Co. boosted their price objective on shares of Ardagh Group from $18.00 to $19.00 and gave the company an underweight rating in a report on Wednesday, December 18th. Barclays initiated coverage on shares of Ardagh Group in a report on Thursday, January 16th. They issued an equal weight rating and a $22.00 price target for the company. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $21.60.

Shares of NYSE ARD opened at $20.37 on Wednesday. The stock has a market cap of $369.16 million, a P/E ratio of 10.89 and a beta of 1.24. The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $20.08 and a 200 day moving average price of $18.43. Ardagh Group has a 52-week low of $12.45 and a 52-week high of $21.54.

Ardagh Group (NYSE:ARD) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 20th. The company reported $0.39 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.28 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $1.58 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.59 billion. Ardagh Group had a net margin of 17.26% and a negative return on equity of 27.07%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down .5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $0.33 earnings per share. On average, analysts forecast that Ardagh Group will post 1.54 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, April 1st. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, March 18th will be issued a $0.14 dividend. This represents a $0.56 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.75%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, March 17th.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Natixis Advisors L.P. boosted its holdings in shares of Ardagh Group by 4.1% in the fourth quarter. Natixis Advisors L.P. now owns 32,755 shares of the company’s stock valued at $641,000 after buying an additional 1,292 shares during the period. Citigroup Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Ardagh Group by 52.2% in the fourth quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 4,692 shares of the company’s stock valued at $92,000 after buying an additional 1,610 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp boosted its holdings in shares of Ardagh Group by 4.8% in the fourth quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 37,826 shares of the company’s stock valued at $740,000 after buying an additional 1,722 shares during the period. State of Alaska Department of Revenue boosted its holdings in shares of Ardagh Group by 11.9% in the fourth quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 30,239 shares of the company’s stock valued at $592,000 after buying an additional 3,218 shares during the period. Finally, Schroder Investment Management Group boosted its holdings in shares of Ardagh Group by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 1,053,070 shares of the company’s stock valued at $20,619,000 after buying an additional 4,334 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 88.58% of the company’s stock.

About Ardagh Group

Ardagh Group SA manufactures and supplies rigid packaging solutions primarily for the food and beverage markets worldwide. The company operates in four segments: Metal Packaging Europe, Metal Packaging Americas, Glass Packaging Europe, and Glass Packaging North America. Its metal packaging products include aluminum and steel beverage cans; two-piece aluminum, two-piece tinplate, and three-piece tinplate food and specialty cans; and a range of can ends, including easy-open and peelable ends.

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