Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Thursday morning, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has $24.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Flowers Foods have outpaced the industry in the past six months. The company is benefiting from its focus on buyouts and market share gains. Notably, strength in DKB, Nature's Own and Wonder brands drove Flowers Foods’ market share in the second quarter of 2019, wherein the top line beat the consensus mark. Results also gained from the buyout of Canyon Bakehouse and solid price mix that helped counter inflationary pressures. Well, Flowers Foods has long been battling high costs and expects commodity, transport and labor cost inflation to persist in 2019. Further, management cut its earnings view for the year. Management also remains skeptical about its base business volumes, which have been weak for a while. Nonetheless, the company is set to fight these odds through savings and productivity plans like Project Centennial.”

FLO has been the subject of several other research reports. DA Davidson assumed coverage on shares of Flowers Foods in a research report on Monday, August 5th. They set a neutral rating and a $24.00 price target for the company. ValuEngine lowered shares of Flowers Foods from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Saturday, August 10th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and four have issued a hold rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $20.50.

NYSE FLO opened at $22.86 on Thursday. Flowers Foods has a 52 week low of $17.78 and a 52 week high of $24.35. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.81 billion, a P/E ratio of 24.32 and a beta of 0.42. The company has a quick ratio of 0.90, a current ratio of 1.15 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.96. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $22.92 and a 200-day moving average price of $22.36.

Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 7th. The company reported $0.25 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.26 by ($0.01). Flowers Foods had a net margin of 4.44% and a return on equity of 15.95%. The business had revenue of $975.76 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $967.66 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.25 EPS. Flowers Foods’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, equities research analysts anticipate that Flowers Foods will post 0.96 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 13th. Investors of record on Friday, August 30th were issued a $0.19 dividend. This represents a $0.76 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.32%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 29th. Flowers Foods’s dividend payout ratio is 80.85%.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan boosted its stake in Flowers Foods by 1.4% in the 2nd quarter. Municipal Employees Retirement System of Michigan now owns 33,920 shares of the company’s stock worth $789,000 after purchasing an additional 470 shares during the period. Advisory Services Network LLC lifted its position in Flowers Foods by 138.4% in the second quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 1,323 shares of the company’s stock worth $31,000 after buying an additional 768 shares during the last quarter. CIBC Private Wealth Group LLC increased its stake in Flowers Foods by 1.7% in the second quarter. CIBC Private Wealth Group LLC now owns 50,570 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,177,000 after purchasing an additional 833 shares during the period. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund increased its stake in Flowers Foods by 1.3% in the first quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 73,340 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,564,000 after purchasing an additional 961 shares during the period. Finally, Krane Funds Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Flowers Foods in the second quarter worth $25,000. 64.73% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About Flowers Foods

Flowers Foods, Inc produces and markets bakery products in the United States. The company operates through two segments, Direct-Store-Delivery and Warehouse Delivery. The Direct-Store-Delivery segment produces and markets fresh breads, buns, rolls, tortillas, and snack cakes. This segment offers its products primarily under the Nature's Own, Dave's Killer Bread, Tastykake, Wonder, and Cobblestone Bread Company brand names.

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