Sonoco Products (SON) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Sonoco Products (NYSE:SON) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Wednesday. The firm presently has a $58.00 price objective on the industrial products company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would suggest a potential upside of 13.44% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “For full-year 2018, Sonoco expects its adjusted earnings per share will be $3.22-$3.32, reflecting a downward revision in the expected effective tax rate and anticipated earnings accretion from the Highland Packaging acquisition. Compared with the earnings per share in 2017, the mid-point of the guidance reflects year-over-year growth of 17%. For second-quarter 2018, the company projects adjusted earnings per share of 83-89 cents, reflecting 100% year-over-year growth at the mid-point. Sonoco is poised to gain from the Highland Packaging acquisition which will strengthen its thermoforming business. Sonoco's recent agreement to acquire the remaining 70% interest in the Conitex Sonoco joint venture will boost its paper-based tube and core business. Further, its Grow and Optimize strategy will also aid growth. Moreover, the stock has outperformed the industry over the past three months.”

A number of other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Vertical Research raised Sonoco Products from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, March 23rd. Bank of America cut Sonoco Products from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $59.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Monday, April 2nd. KeyCorp reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Sonoco Products in a report on Thursday, April 19th. TheStreet raised Sonoco Products from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a report on Thursday, April 19th. Finally, UBS Group initiated coverage on Sonoco Products in a report on Friday, April 13th. They set a “buy” rating and a $55.00 price objective on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Sonoco Products has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $54.29.

Shares of NYSE SON opened at $51.13 on Wednesday. The stock has a market cap of $5.11 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.33, a PEG ratio of 3.34 and a beta of 1.12. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72, a quick ratio of 1.16 and a current ratio of 1.61. Sonoco Products has a 1-year low of $46.55 and a 1-year high of $55.77.

Sonoco Products (NYSE:SON) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 19th. The industrial products company reported $0.74 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.02. The company had revenue of $1.30 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.29 billion. Sonoco Products had a return on equity of 17.02% and a net margin of 3.79%. Sonoco Products’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.59 EPS. equities analysts expect that Sonoco Products will post 3.29 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, SVP Vicki B. Arthur sold 3,780 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.75, for a total transaction of $199,395.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 13,399 shares in the company, valued at approximately $706,797.25. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Rodger D. Fuller sold 13,974 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, April 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.05, for a total value of $713,372.70. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 72,174 shares in the company, valued at $3,684,482.70. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 23,632 shares of company stock worth $1,219,525. 1.70% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. grew its position in shares of Sonoco Products by 68.7% in the 4th quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 3,027 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $161,000 after buying an additional 1,233 shares during the last quarter. Financial Gravity Companies Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Sonoco Products in the 4th quarter worth approximately $176,000. Howland Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of Sonoco Products in the 4th quarter worth approximately $201,000. Dividend Assets Capital LLC bought a new stake in shares of Sonoco Products in the 4th quarter worth approximately $203,000. Finally, Financial Gravity Wealth Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Sonoco Products in the 1st quarter worth approximately $203,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 69.34% of the company’s stock.

About Sonoco Products

Sonoco Products Company manufactures and sells industrial and consumer packaging products in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The company operates through four segments: Consumer Packaging, Display and Packaging, Paper and Industrial Converted Products, and Protective Solutions. The Consumer Packaging segment offers composite and thermoformed plastic round and shaped rigid containers and trays; extruded and injection-molded plastic products; printed flexible packaging products; brand artwork management; and metal and peelable membrane ends and closures.

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