Zoetis Inc. (NYSE:ZTS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday.
According to Zacks, “Zoetis, one of the leading global animal health companies, is focused on both livestock and companion animals. Performance of the livestock business is concerning. Headwinds remain in the form of disease outbreaks and stiff competition in the animal health space. Zoetis continued to witness a decline in the U.S. sales of swine products in the second quarter of 2016 due to increased competition. Meanwhile, sales of poultry products are declining globally due to competitive pressures. Pipeline setbacks remain a concern as well. However, the company’s companion animal business should continue to perform well. Further, Zoetis’ efforts at 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.”
A number of other equities research analysts have also commented on ZTS. Guggenheim reissued a “buy” rating and set a $60.00 price objective on shares of Zoetis in a report on Monday, July 18th. Barclays PLC upped their target price on shares of Zoetis from $45.00 to $49.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. Citigroup Inc. upped their target price on shares of Zoetis from $50.00 to $53.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. Jefferies Group upped their target price on shares of Zoetis from $58.00 to $60.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, August 4th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG restated an “outperform” rating and set a $60.00 target price on shares of Zoetis in a research report on Tuesday, August 23rd. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have assigned a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Zoetis has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $55.50.
Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) opened at 50.18 on Thursday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $51.25 and a 200 day moving average of $49.01. Zoetis has a 52-week low of $38.26 and a 52-week high of $53.14. The stock has a market capitalization of $24.84 billion, a P/E ratio of 39.08 and a beta of 1.01.
Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, August 3rd. The company reported $0.49 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.44 by $0.05. Zoetis had a net margin of 13.15% and a return on equity of 77.58%. The firm had revenue of $1.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.17 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.43 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 2.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Zoetis will post $1.91 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 1st. Investors of record on Thursday, November 3rd will be given a $0.095 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 1st. This represents a $0.38 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.76%. Zoetis’s dividend payout ratio is 29.69%.
In other Zoetis news, insider Heidi C. Chen sold 32,097 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 sale, the insider now directly owns 46,060 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,348,138.80. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Andrew Fenton sold 13,870 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $51.25, for a total transaction of $710,837.50. Following the sale, the insider now owns 17,719 shares in the company, valued at $908,098.75. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.05% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. NEXT Financial Group Inc increased its stake in shares of Zoetis by 9.5% in the second quarter. NEXT Financial Group Inc now owns 2,136 shares of the company’s stock valued at $101,000 after buying an additional 186 shares during the period. Kelly Lawrence W & Associates Inc. CA increased its stake in shares of Zoetis by 113.4% in the second quarter. Kelly Lawrence W & Associates Inc. CA now owns 2,446 shares of the company’s stock valued at $116,000 after buying an additional 1,300 shares during the period. NN Investment Partners Holdings N.V. bought a new stake in shares of Zoetis during the first quarter valued at approximately $118,000. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. increased its stake in shares of Zoetis by 22.8% in the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 2,566 shares of the company’s stock valued at $121,000 after buying an additional 476 shares during the period. Finally, Glenmede Trust Co. NA increased its stake in shares of Zoetis by 4.4% in the second quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA now owns 2,950 shares of the company’s stock valued at $139,000 after buying an additional 124 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.12% 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.