Trading Report: Today: The Zacks Investment Research Downgraded Zoetis Inc. (ZTS) to Hold

Today: The Zacks Investment Research Downgraded Zoetis Inc. (ZTS) to Hold

Zoetis Inc. (NYSE:ZTS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday.

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 have also recently weighed in on the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $53.00 target price on shares of Zoetis in a research note on Thursday, November 3rd. Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $63.00 price target on shares of Zoetis in a research report on Sunday, October 16th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $58.00 price target on shares of Zoetis in a research report on Wednesday, October 12th. Bank of America Corp. started coverage on Zoetis in a research report on Thursday, September 29th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $60.00 price target for the company. Finally, Argus increased their price target on Zoetis from $54.00 to $58.00 and gave the company a “below average” rating in a research report on Friday, September 9th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating, seven have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. Zoetis presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $55.92.

Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) traded down 0.36% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $50.00. 1,171,209 shares of the company traded hands. Zoetis has a 12-month low of $38.26 and a 12-month high of $53.14. The stock has a market cap of $24.69 billion, a P/E ratio of 36.05 and a beta of 1.05. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $50.08 and a 200 day moving average of $49.59.

Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 2nd. The company reported $0.52 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.46 by $0.06. The company had revenue of $1.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.22 billion. Zoetis had a return on equity of 72.96% and a net margin of 14.10%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 2.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.50 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Zoetis will post $1.94 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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

In other news, insider Roxanne Lagano sold 9,797 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.43, for a total transaction of $494,062.71. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 8,063 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $406,617.09. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Heidi C. Chen sold 32,097 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.98, for a total value of $1,636,305.06. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 46,060 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,348,138.80. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.05% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA increased its stake in Zoetis by 114.1% in the second quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 8,738,248 shares of the company’s stock worth $414,717,000 after buying an additional 4,656,765 shares during the period. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD increased 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 during the period. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its stake in Zoetis by 49.9% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 7,634,826 shares of the company’s stock worth $362,349,000 after buying an additional 2,542,023 shares during the period. First Eagle Investment Management LLC increased its stake in Zoetis by 87.8% in the third quarter. First Eagle Investment Management LLC now owns 3,893,085 shares of the company’s stock worth $202,479,000 after buying an additional 1,819,607 shares during the period. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. increased 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 during the period. 92.41% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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