Today: Today, Zoetis Inc. (ZTS) Upgrade to “Buy” at The Zacks Investment Research

Today, Zoetis Inc. (ZTS) Upgrade to “Buy” at The Zacks Investment Research

Zoetis Inc. (NYSE:ZTS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday. The firm currently has a $56.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price indicates a potential upside of 11.60% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Zoetis reported better-than-expected third-quarter results, wherein earnings surpassed estimates by a wide margin. It also managed to beat revenue estimates, albeit marginally. Zoetis’ companion animal business continued to perform well in the reported quarter.Zoetis has once again raised its earnings outlook for 2016 on the back of a strong year-to-date performance, which is encouraging. Further, its efforts on boosting operational efficiency bode well. We are positive on Zoetis’ recent acquisition of Scandinavian Micro Biodevices, which should expand its offerings in the growing veterinary diagnostics segment of the animal health market. We expect to see more of such acquisitions/deals at the company as it continues to focus on acquiring complementary businesses and products.However, performance of the livestock business is concerning. Headwinds remain in the form of disease outbreaks and stiff competition in the animal health space.”

Several other research analysts also recently issued reports on ZTS. Citigroup Inc. upped their price objective on Zoetis from $50.00 to $53.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, August 4th. Barclays PLC upped their price objective on Zoetis from $45.00 to $49.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a report on Thursday, August 4th. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 price objective on shares of Zoetis in a report on Tuesday, August 23rd. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $58.00 price objective on shares of Zoetis in a report on Wednesday, October 12th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed a “focus list” rating and set a $60.00 price objective on shares of Zoetis in a report on Wednesday, September 7th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, eight have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $55.92.

Shares of Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) remained flat at $50.18 on Friday. 793,464 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The company has a 50 day moving average of $50.18 and a 200 day moving average of $49.58. Zoetis has a 12-month low of $38.26 and a 12-month high of $53.14. The stock has a market cap of $24.78 billion, a P/E ratio of 36.18 and a beta of 1.05.

Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 2nd. The company reported $0.52 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.06. Zoetis had a return on equity of 72.96% and a net margin of 14.10%. The firm had revenue of $1.20 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.22 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.50 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Zoetis will post $1.94 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Investors of record on Thursday, November 3rd will be paid a dividend of $0.095 per share. This represents a $0.38 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.76%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 1st. Zoetis’s payout ratio is presently 27.54%.

In other Zoetis news, insider Kristin C. Peck sold 10,092 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $49.55, for a total transaction of $500,058.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 22,768 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,128,154.40. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Michael B. Mccallister bought 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 6th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $51.34 per share, with a total value of $102,680.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Corporate insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co. LLC boosted its position in Zoetis by 0.4% in the second quarter. Gilder Gagnon Howe & Co. LLC now owns 6,730 shares of the company’s stock worth $319,000 after buying an additional 26 shares during the period. Sterneck Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Zoetis by 0.7% in the second quarter. Sterneck Capital Management LLC now owns 5,766 shares of the company’s stock valued at $274,000 after buying an additional 38 shares during the last quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC boosted its position in shares of Zoetis by 1.1% in the second quarter. Kistler Tiffany Companies LLC now owns 6,231 shares of the company’s stock valued at $296,000 after buying an additional 65 shares during the last quarter. Fulton Bank N.A. boosted its position in shares of Zoetis by 1.6% in the third quarter. Fulton Bank N.A. now owns 5,279 shares of the company’s stock valued at $275,000 after buying an additional 83 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Moors & Cabot Inc. boosted its position in shares of Zoetis by 0.6% in the third quarter. Moors & Cabot Inc. now owns 15,599 shares of the company’s stock valued at $812,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 94.94% of the company’s stock.

About Zoetis

Zoetis Inc is engaged in the discovery, development, manufacture and commercialization of animal health medicines and vaccines, with a focus on both livestock and companion animals. The Company has a diversified business, marketing products across over eight core species: cattle, swine, poultry, sheep and fish (collectively, livestock), and dogs, cats and horses (collectively, companion animals), and within over five product categories: anti-infectives, vaccines, parasiticides, medicated feed additives and other pharmaceuticals.

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