Kellogg’s (K) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Kellogg’s (NYSE:K) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “Kellogg’s cost savings from its Project K and ZBB have been supporting renovation, innovation, brand support and margins. Kellogg remains on track to achieve its 2018 profit-margin goal of 18%. In order to improve its sales performance, the company is investing in brand building such as digital media, consumer promotions and traditional advertising.  Kellogg is also channeling funds toward product and packaging innovation as well as reformulation of many existing products to keep up with the rapidly changing views of consumers regarding health and wellness. Although cost savings are providing support for margin expansion, a weak top line is limiting Kellogg’s ability to leverage it. Meanwhile, its shares have outperformed industry in the past six months and current year earnings estimates have been trending upward over the last 60 days.”

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K has been the subject of several other research reports. Credit Suisse Group set a $63.00 price objective on shares of Kellogg’s and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday. Piper Jaffray raised shares of Kellogg’s from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating and set a $80.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, February 28th. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on shares of Kellogg’s from $69.00 to $70.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, February 9th. Susquehanna Bancshares set a $69.00 price objective on shares of Kellogg’s and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, February 5th. Finally, Citigroup raised their price objective on shares of Kellogg’s from $86.00 to $91.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, January 16th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $73.12.

Shares of NYSE:K traded down $0.19 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $63.64. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 866,511 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,930,499. The company has a current ratio of 0.68, a quick ratio of 0.41 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.52. Kellogg’s has a 12 month low of $58.76 and a 12 month high of $74.28. The company has a market cap of $21,802.91, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.72, a PEG ratio of 1.94 and a beta of 0.45.

Kellogg’s (NYSE:K) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 8th. The company reported $0.96 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.96. Kellogg’s had a net margin of 9.82% and a return on equity of 70.35%. The firm had revenue of $3.21 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.10 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.92 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.6% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts forecast that Kellogg’s will post 4.46 EPS for the current year.

In other news, major shareholder Kellogg W. K. Foundation Trust sold 200,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.57, for a total transaction of $12,714,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Kellogg W. K. Foundation Trust sold 13,845 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $67.68, for a total transaction of $937,029.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 823,763 shares of company stock worth $55,501,777. Corporate insiders own 1.40% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Calton & Associates Inc. purchased a new position in Kellogg’s during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $112,000. Resources Investment Advisors Inc. increased its holdings in Kellogg’s by 65.7% during the fourth quarter. Resources Investment Advisors Inc. now owns 1,859 shares of the company’s stock valued at $127,000 after buying an additional 737 shares during the period. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC purchased a new position in Kellogg’s during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $128,000. Vestpro Financial Partners Inc. dba CPF Texas purchased a new position in Kellogg’s during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $163,000. Finally, Sawyer & Company Inc purchased a new position in Kellogg’s during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $170,000. 91.82% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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About Kellogg’s

Kellogg Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets ready-to-eat cereal and convenience foods. The company operates through U.S. Morning Foods, U.S. Snacks, U.S. Specialty, North America Other, Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific segments. Its principal products include cookies, crackers, savory snacks, toaster pastries, cereal bars, granola bars and bites, fruit-flavored snacks, ready-to-eat cereals, frozen waffles, and veggie foods.

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