Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. (BUFF) Upgraded to Buy at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. (NASDAQ:BUFF) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday morning. The brokerage currently has $33.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. develops, produces, markets and sells pet food primarily in the United States. The Company’s product lines include BLUE Life Protection Formula, BLUE Wilderness, BLUE Basics, BLUE Freedom and BLUE Naturally Fresh line. It offers dry foods, wet foods as well as treats for puppies, adult dogs, senior dogs and litters for kittens, adult cats and mature cats. Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. is headquartered in Wilton, Connecticut. “

Other research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. TheStreet raised Blue Buffalo Pet Products from a c rating to a b- rating in a research report on Friday, August 11th. J P Morgan Chase & Co lifted their price target on Blue Buffalo Pet Products from $26.00 to $29.00 and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research report on Monday, August 21st. BidaskClub downgraded Blue Buffalo Pet Products from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research report on Monday, July 31st. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reaffirmed an outperform rating and issued a $25.00 price target (down from $29.00) on shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products in a research report on Thursday, August 10th. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares Inc reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $30.00 price target (down from $32.00) on shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products in a research report on Monday, August 7th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have assigned a hold rating, eight have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $29.36.

Shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products (BUFF) opened at 28.31 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $5.58 billion, a P/E ratio of 39.87 and a beta of 1.94. The company’s 50-day moving average is $27.51 and its 200-day moving average is $27.51. Blue Buffalo Pet Products has a 52-week low of $21.60 and a 52-week high of $29.44.

Blue Buffalo Pet Products (NASDAQ:BUFF) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, August 8th. The company reported $0.21 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.21. Blue Buffalo Pet Products had a return on equity of 98.02% and a net margin of 12.13%. The firm had revenue of $294.80 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $301.88 million. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.19 EPS. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.8% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts forecast that Blue Buffalo Pet Products will post $0.92 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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Blue Buffalo Pet Products announced that its board has initiated a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, August 8th that permits the company to buyback $50.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to purchase up to 1.2% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, CFO Michael Nathenson sold 50,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $25.00, for a total transaction of $1,250,000.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 50,000 shares in the company, valued at $1,250,000. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 187,072 shares of company stock worth $4,736,802. 7.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products by 0.4% during the first quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 13,046 shares of the company’s stock valued at $300,000 after purchasing an additional 56 shares during the period. NGAM Advisors L.P. increased its position in shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products by 0.4% during the second quarter. NGAM Advisors L.P. now owns 27,961 shares of the company’s stock valued at $638,000 after purchasing an additional 105 shares during the period. ETRADE Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products by 0.4% during the second quarter. ETRADE Capital Management LLC now owns 32,243 shares of the company’s stock valued at $735,000 after purchasing an additional 114 shares during the period. Advisor Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products by 6.5% during the second quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 4,513 shares of the company’s stock valued at $103,000 after purchasing an additional 277 shares during the period. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its position in shares of Blue Buffalo Pet Products by 9.6% during the second quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 6,070 shares of the company’s stock valued at $138,000 after purchasing an additional 533 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 88.74% of the company’s stock.

About Blue Buffalo Pet Products

Blue Buffalo Pet Products, Inc (BBPP) is a holding company. The Company operates as a pet food company. The Company, through its subsidiaries, develops, produces, markets and sells pet food under product lines, including BLUE Life Protection Formula, BLUE Wilderness, BLUE Basics, BLUE Freedom and BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet lines.

Analyst Recommendations for Blue Buffalo Pet Products (NASDAQ:BUFF)

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