TreeHouse Foods (THS) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Hold

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of TreeHouse Foods (NYSE:THS) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Grocery woes like stiff competition, difficult pricing and sluggish store traffic are making things tough for TreeHouse Foods that has lagged the industry in the past year. This is quite evident from its third-quarter 2017 results, wherein both top and bottom lines fell year over year and the latter came much below expectations. Apart from the aforementioned factors, the divestiture of the SIF business also impacted results, by denting the top line. Additionally, higher freight and commodity costs weighed on the operating income. Nevertheless, TreeHouse Foods is making attempts to enhance its operational performance and reduce cost structure through its TreeHouse 2020 strategy. Notably, this initiative is expected to improve the company’s operating margin by 300 bps by the end of 2020. Moreover, the company has been undertaking acquisitions to augment its portfolio, alongside of enhanced focus on organic food offerings.”

THS has been the subject of several other reports. Wolfe Research initiated coverage on shares of TreeHouse Foods in a report on Monday, December 4th. They issued a market perform rating for the company. Citigroup reduced their target price on shares of TreeHouse Foods from $90.00 to $62.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a report on Friday, November 3rd. Jefferies Group set a $100.00 target price on shares of TreeHouse Foods and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Sunday, October 29th. TheStreet lowered shares of TreeHouse Foods from a c- rating to a d+ rating in a report on Friday, November 10th. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares reissued a hold rating and issued a $75.00 target price on shares of TreeHouse Foods in a report on Monday, October 9th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. TreeHouse Foods presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $59.90.

TreeHouse Foods (NYSE:THS) traded down $0.23 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $48.87. 685,230 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 666,655. The stock has a market cap of $2,796.10, a price-to-earnings ratio of -10.69, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.66 and a beta of 0.49. TreeHouse Foods has a one year low of $40.26 and a one year high of $90.42. The company has a quick ratio of 0.81, a current ratio of 2.16 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01.

TreeHouse Foods (NYSE:THS) last released its earnings results on Thursday, November 2nd. The company reported $0.67 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.78 by ($0.11). The firm had revenue of $1.55 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.52 billion. TreeHouse Foods had a positive return on equity of 6.61% and a negative net margin of 4.06%. The company’s revenue was down 2.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.70 earnings per share. analysts predict that TreeHouse Foods will post 2.73 EPS for the current fiscal year.

TreeHouse Foods announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share repurchase plan on Thursday, November 2nd that authorizes the company to buyback $400.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, CEO Sam K. Reed sold 11,480 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, January 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.72, for a total value of $570,785.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 81,147 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,034,628.84. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Gary Dale Smith bought 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 7th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $42.64 per share, with a total value of $85,280.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the director now owns 271 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $11,555.44. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 36,440 shares of company stock valued at $1,684,179. Insiders own 3.50% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Citigroup Inc. grew its holdings in shares of TreeHouse Foods by 120.6% in the second quarter. Citigroup Inc. now owns 1,286 shares of the company’s stock valued at $105,000 after purchasing an additional 703 shares in the last quarter. Parallax Volatility Advisers L.P. lifted its position in TreeHouse Foods by 30.9% in the second quarter. Parallax Volatility Advisers L.P. now owns 1,874 shares of the company’s stock worth $153,000 after buying an additional 442 shares during the last quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its position in TreeHouse Foods by 11.2% in the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 1,982 shares of the company’s stock worth $162,000 after buying an additional 199 shares during the last quarter. ZWJ Investment Counsel Inc. bought a new stake in TreeHouse Foods in the third quarter worth $212,000. Finally, Zions Bancorporation bought a new stake in TreeHouse Foods in the third quarter worth $212,000.

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TreeHouse Foods Company Profile

TreeHouse Foods, Inc is a consumer packaged food and beverage manufacturer. The Company’s segments include North American Retail Grocery, Food Away From Home, and Industrial and Export. The Company manufactures a range of shelf stable, refrigerated, fresh and frozen products. Its product categories include beverages, salad dressings, snack nuts, beverage enhancers, pickles, sauces, cereals, pasta and dry dinners, cookies and crackers, retail bakery, aseptic products, jams and other products.

Analyst Recommendations for TreeHouse Foods (NYSE:THS)

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