Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Mondelez International (MDLZ) to “Buy”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Mondelez International (NASDAQ:MDLZ) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report report published on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $46.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Mondelez has an attractive portfolio of iconic brands, commanding presence in impulsive categories and fast-growing emerging markets. Mondelez’ margins have remained constantly strong backed by cost savings and productivity gains. Also, shares of the company outperformed its industry in the last six months. Earnings estimates for 2018 and 2019 increased 3.8% and 4.7%, respectively, over the last 60 days, reflecting analysts’ optimism. However, Mondelez’s volumes have been hurt since 2014 by the elasticity impact from higher pricing and category weakness because of soft consumer demand.”

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A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on the company. BidaskClub raised Mondelez International from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Monday, February 5th. Barclays reissued a buy rating and set a $50.00 price target on shares of Mondelez International in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Societe Generale raised Mondelez International from a hold rating to a buy rating and raised their price target for the company from $45.00 to $55.00 in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Piper Jaffray reissued a buy rating and set a $52.00 price target on shares of Mondelez International in a report on Thursday, February 1st. Finally, Bank of America raised their price target on Mondelez International from $50.00 to $56.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, February 1st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating, thirteen have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $50.38.

Shares of Mondelez International stock opened at $41.73 on Wednesday. Mondelez International has a one year low of $39.19 and a one year high of $47.23. The firm has a market capitalization of $62,066.20, a P/E ratio of 19.41, a P/E/G ratio of 1.42 and a beta of 0.90. The company has a current ratio of 0.48, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.50.

Mondelez International (NASDAQ:MDLZ) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, January 31st. The company reported $0.57 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.56 by $0.01. Mondelez International had a return on equity of 12.72% and a net margin of 11.28%. The company had revenue of $6.97 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $6.98 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.47 EPS. Mondelez International’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.9% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts forecast that Mondelez International will post 2.47 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, April 12th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, March 29th will be issued a dividend of $0.22 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, March 28th. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.11%. Mondelez International’s dividend payout ratio is presently 41.12%.

Mondelez International declared that its Board of Directors has authorized a share buyback plan on Wednesday, January 31st that permits the company to buyback $6.00 billion in shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, Director Trian Fund Management, L.P. acquired 1,028,600 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, March 9th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $44.27 per share, for a total transaction of $45,536,122.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Charles E. Bunch acquired 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 16th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $43.90 per share, with a total value of $87,800.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Company insiders own 3.60% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of MDLZ. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. grew its position in shares of Mondelez International by 348.9% during the third quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 4,044,516 shares of the company’s stock valued at $164,450,000 after purchasing an additional 3,143,550 shares in the last quarter. Lindsell Train Ltd grew its position in shares of Mondelez International by 18.3% during the third quarter. Lindsell Train Ltd now owns 19,950,710 shares of the company’s stock valued at $811,196,000 after purchasing an additional 3,086,000 shares in the last quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC grew its position in shares of Mondelez International by 25.8% during the fourth quarter. Clearbridge Investments LLC now owns 8,005,915 shares of the company’s stock valued at $342,653,000 after purchasing an additional 1,641,314 shares in the last quarter. First Manhattan Co. grew its position in shares of Mondelez International by 164.3% during the fourth quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 2,246,429 shares of the company’s stock valued at $96,147,000 after purchasing an additional 1,396,538 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Eaton Vance Management grew its position in shares of Mondelez International by 29.0% during the fourth quarter. Eaton Vance Management now owns 5,439,637 shares of the company’s stock valued at $232,816,000 after purchasing an additional 1,223,487 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 75.86% of the company’s stock.

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Mondelez International Company Profile

Mondelez International, Inc, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets snack food and beverage products worldwide. It offers biscuits, including cookies, crackers, and salted snacks; chocolates; gums and candies; coffee and powdered beverages; and cheese and grocery products. The company's primary snack brand portfolio includes Nabisco, Oreo, LU, and belVita biscuits; Cadbury, Milka, Cadbury Dairy Milk, and Toblerone chocolates; Trident gums; Halls candies; and Tang powdered beverages.

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