Dean Foods (DF) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to “Buy”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Dean Foods (NYSE:DF) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Thursday, January 18th. The firm currently has $13.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Dean Foods outperformed the industry in the past three months due to optimism on the smart volume initiative, which is expected to aid results. This initiative is aimed at improving top-line, building margins and creating operating efficiencies. In third-quarter 2017, the company’s results gained from overall solid sales execution and stringent progress on its smart volumes initiative, which helped in wining some new business for 2018. On the flip side, the company has been witnessing a dismal sales trend evident from the second straight quarter miss in third-quarter due to soft volumes, higher raw milk costs, and loss of share in U.S. fluid milk volumes. While this is a concern, the company expects to bring more smart volumes into its system to aid top line growth. Further, the company’s initiatives to strengthen brands and diversify portfolio bode well. Estimates have been stable lately ahead of the fourth quarter earnings.”

Several other equities research analysts have also commented on DF. BMO Capital Markets restated a market perform rating and issued a $12.00 price objective (down previously from $15.00) on shares of Dean Foods in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th. Morgan Stanley lowered their price objective on Dean Foods from $10.00 to $9.00 and set an overweight rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th. Credit Suisse Group lowered their price objective on Dean Foods from $10.00 to $8.50 and set an underperform rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, November 8th. Jefferies Group set a $16.00 price objective on Dean Foods and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Sunday, October 29th. Finally, Vertical Group raised Dean Foods from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Monday, January 8th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $13.05.

Dean Foods (NYSE DF) traded down $0.09 during trading on Thursday, reaching $9.45. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,541,960 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,480,000. The company has a current ratio of 1.28, a quick ratio of 0.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.33. Dean Foods has a 1-year low of $9.01 and a 1-year high of $20.84. The stock has a market cap of $860.63, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.79, a PEG ratio of 0.83 and a beta of 0.39.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Dean Foods by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,384,396 shares of the company’s stock valued at $193,534,000 after purchasing an additional 129,537 shares during the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in Dean Foods by 1.6% in the 3rd quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 4,998,465 shares of the company’s stock valued at $54,383,000 after purchasing an additional 78,538 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp raised its stake in Dean Foods by 2.0% in the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 3,251,809 shares of the company’s stock valued at $55,278,000 after purchasing an additional 62,555 shares during the last quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. raised its stake in Dean Foods by 11.9% in the 3rd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 3,047,962 shares of the company’s stock valued at $33,161,000 after purchasing an additional 323,688 shares during the last quarter. Finally, FMR LLC raised its stake in Dean Foods by 56.2% in the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 2,998,781 shares of the company’s stock valued at $50,979,000 after purchasing an additional 1,079,205 shares during the last quarter. 94.49% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Dean Foods Company Profile

Dean Foods Company is a food and beverage company. The Company processes and distributes fluid milk, and other dairy and dairy case products in the United States. It is engaged in manufacturing, marketing, selling and distributing a range of branded and private label dairy and dairy case products. It offers branded and private label dairy case products, including fluid milk, ice cream, cultured dairy products, creamers, ice cream mix and other dairy products to retailers, distributors, foodservice outlets, educational institutions and governmental entities across the United States.

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