Freshpet (NASDAQ:FRPT) Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Freshpet (NASDAQ:FRPT) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Freshpet Inc. is a pet food company. The company manufactures and markets natural fresh foods, refrigerated meals, and treats for dogs and cats in the United States and Canada. Freshpet provides meats- based recipes, such as chicken, beef, lamb and salmon; fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, peas and leafy green vegetables, and high-fiber grains, such as brown rice, oats and barley. It sells its products under the Freshpet, Dognation, and Dog Joy brand names. Freshpet Inc. is headquartered in Secaucus, New Jersey. “

Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the stock. SunTrust Banks downgraded shares of LegacyTexas Financial Group from a buy rating to a hold rating and cut their price target for the company from $43.00 to $39.05 in a report on Tuesday, June 18th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Zai Lab from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a report on Friday, June 28th. DA Davidson initiated coverage on shares of Nomad Foods in a report on Wednesday, June 19th. They set a buy rating and a $26.00 price target on the stock. Finally, TheStreet downgraded shares of Whitestone REIT from a b- rating to a c+ rating in a research note on Monday, April 1st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $43.57.

Shares of NASDAQ FRPT opened at $45.51 on Wednesday. The firm’s 50-day simple moving average is $46.69. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07, a current ratio of 1.08 and a quick ratio of 0.72. The stock has a market cap of $1.65 billion, a PE ratio of -303.40 and a beta of 1.11. Freshpet has a 12-month low of $25.81 and a 12-month high of $51.85.

Freshpet (NASDAQ:FRPT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Monday, May 6th. The company reported ($0.10) EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of ($0.09) by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $54.80 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $54.28 million. Freshpet had a negative net margin of 2.57% and a negative return on equity of 4.46%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 26.9% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted ($0.10) earnings per share. On average, equities analysts forecast that Freshpet will post 0.06 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider Scott James Morris sold 20,436 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.58, for a total transaction of $992,780.88. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 168,510 shares in the company, valued at $8,186,215.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, VP Stephen Macchiaverna sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, June 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.05, for a total transaction of $470,500.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 82,938 shares in the company, valued at $3,902,232.90. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 174,104 shares of company stock worth $8,335,030 over the last 90 days. Insiders own 5.10% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in FRPT. Two Sigma Investments LP lifted its position in Freshpet by 86.0% during the fourth quarter. Two Sigma Investments LP now owns 187,470 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,029,000 after acquiring an additional 86,696 shares during the last quarter. Macquarie Group Ltd. purchased a new stake in Freshpet during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $246,000. Pathlight Investors LLC purchased a new stake in Freshpet during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $202,000. Two Sigma Advisers LP lifted its position in Freshpet by 85.8% during the fourth quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP now owns 95,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,078,000 after acquiring an additional 44,200 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Federated Investors Inc. PA lifted its position in Freshpet by 79.2% during the first quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 395,982 shares of the company’s stock valued at $16,746,000 after acquiring an additional 174,953 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 86.74% of the company’s stock.

Freshpet Company Profile

Freshpet, Inc manufactures and markets natural fresh products, refrigerated meals, and treats for dogs and cats in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The company sells its products under the Freshpet brand; and Dognation and Dog Joy labels through various classes of retail, including grocery, mass, club, pet specialty, and natural, as well as online.

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