Zoetis (ZTS) Downgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report released on Saturday morning. The brokerage currently has $83.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Zoetis faces stiff competition from other animal health medicines and vaccines companies like Merck Animal Health (the animal health division of Merck), Elanco (the animal health division of Eli Lilly), Bayer Animal Health (the animal health division of Bayer) and Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health (the animal health division of Boehringer Ingelheim). Disease outbreak among animals is a material cause of concern for Zoetis’ livestock products.In addition, companion animal health products are often directly prescribed and dispensed by veterinarians. The swine business is being impacted by competition for Fostera. These competitive pressures could adversely affect the company’s business and operating results. However, shares of the company have outperformed the industry in the last six months.”

Several other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on ZTS. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of Zoetis in a research report on Monday, January 8th. Cantor Fitzgerald set a $85.00 price target on shares of Zoetis and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Thursday. Citigroup raised shares of Zoetis from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $85.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. BidaskClub cut shares of Zoetis from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 20th. Finally, Craig Hallum reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $85.00 price target (up previously from $77.00) on shares of Zoetis in a research report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and fourteen have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $71.94.

Zoetis (NYSE ZTS) traded up $0.80 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $75.39. 1,915,634 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,726,682. The company has a market cap of $36,736.64, a PE ratio of 39.68, a PEG ratio of 1.90 and a beta of 1.06. The company has a quick ratio of 1.95, a current ratio of 2.80 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.45. Zoetis has a one year low of $52.00 and a one year high of $75.69.

Zoetis (NYSE:ZTS) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, November 2nd. The company reported $0.65 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.63 by $0.02. Zoetis had a net margin of 18.29% and a return on equity of 62.39%. The company had revenue of $1.35 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.32 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.52 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 8.5% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts forecast that Zoetis will post 2.37 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 1st. Shareholders of record on Friday, January 19th will be paid a $0.126 dividend. This is a positive change from Zoetis’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.11. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, January 18th. This represents a $0.50 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.67%. Zoetis’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 22.11%.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in Zoetis by 0.9% in the 4th quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 253,456 shares of the company’s stock valued at $18,259,000 after buying an additional 2,180 shares during the last quarter. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. increased its stake in Zoetis by 92.0% in the 4th quarter. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. now owns 18,152 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,308,000 after buying an additional 8,696 shares during the last quarter. Milestone Resources Group Ltd purchased a new stake in Zoetis in the 4th quarter valued at about $40,294,000. Chesley Taft & Associates LLC purchased a new stake in Zoetis in the 4th quarter valued at about $1,027,000. Finally, Hutchens Investment Management Inc increased its stake in Zoetis by 15.0% in the 4th quarter. Hutchens Investment Management Inc now owns 13,798 shares of the company’s stock valued at $994,000 after buying an additional 1,798 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 93.19% of the company’s stock.

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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 business, commercializing products across eight core species: cattle, swine, poultry, sheep and fish (collectively, livestock) and dogs, cats and horses (collectively, companion animals), and within five product categories: anti-infectives, vaccines, parasiticides, medicated feed additives and other pharmaceuticals.

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