Trade Report: 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 research note issued on Friday. The firm currently has a $56.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price points to a potential upside of 11.60% from the company’s current price.

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.”

Other equities research analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Argus increased their target price on shares of Zoetis from $54.00 to $58.00 and gave the company a “below average” rating in a research note on Friday, September 9th. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $63.00 target price on shares of Zoetis in a research note on Sunday, October 16th. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $58.00 target price on shares of Zoetis in a research note on Wednesday, October 12th. Bank of America Corp. started coverage on shares of Zoetis in a research note on Thursday, September 29th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $60.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Barclays PLC increased their target price on shares of Zoetis from $45.00 to $49.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 4th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $55.92.

Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) remained flat at $50.18 during midday trading on Friday. The stock had a trading volume of 799,864 shares. The stock has a market cap of $24.78 billion, a PE ratio of 36.18 and a beta of 1.05. Zoetis has a one year low of $38.26 and a one year high of $53.14. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $50.18 and a 200 day moving average of $49.58.

Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, November 2nd. The company reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.06. Zoetis had a net margin of 14.10% and a return on equity of 72.96%. The business 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 firm posted $0.50 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts expect that Zoetis will post $1.94 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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

In other news, insider Kristin C. Peck sold 10,092 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.55, for a total value of $500,058.60. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 22,768 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,128,154.40. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Heidi C. Chen sold 32,097 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.98, for a total transaction of $1,636,305.06. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 46,060 shares in the company, valued at $2,348,138.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD boosted its stake in Zoetis by 12.3% in the third quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 34,863,382 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,813,244,000 after buying an additional 3,806,515 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Zoetis by 6.5% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 29,819,968 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,415,256,000 after buying an additional 1,812,428 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its stake in Zoetis by 7.1% in the third quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 12,516,447 shares of the company’s stock worth $650,980,000 after buying an additional 830,200 shares in the last quarter. Independent Franchise Partners LLP boosted its stake in Zoetis by 1.6% in the third quarter. Independent Franchise Partners LLP now owns 11,361,033 shares of the company’s stock worth $590,887,000 after buying an additional 177,286 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its stake in Zoetis by 1.3% in the third quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 10,016,876 shares of the company’s stock worth $520,978,000 after buying an additional 126,708 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 94.94% of the company’s stock.

Zoetis Company Profile

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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