Shares of Sonoco Products Co. (NYSE:SON) hit a new 52-week high during trading on Thursday . The company traded as high as $50.70 and last traded at $50.20, with a volume of 327,397 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $49.92.

A number of analysts have recently commented on SON shares. Vertical Research lowered Sonoco Products from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, March 18th. Jefferies Group reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Sonoco Products in a report on Monday, April 25th. DA Davidson lowered Sonoco Products from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $42.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, April 11th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $50.00 target price on shares of Sonoco Products in a report on Wednesday, June 1st. Finally, Vertical Group lowered Sonoco Products from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Sunday, March 20th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $45.33.

The stock has a market cap of $5.01 billion and a P/E ratio of 22.70. The company’s 50-day moving average is $47.66 and its 200-day moving average is $44.93.

Sonoco Products (NYSE:SON) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, April 21st. The company reported $0.65 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.60 by $0.05. The firm earned $1.23 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.21 billion. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 1.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.54 earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that Sonoco Products Co. will post $2.71 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 13th were paid a $0.37 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, May 11th. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.96%. This is a boost from Sonoco Products’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.35.

In related news, VP R. Howard Coker sold 9,320 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, April 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.49, for a total value of $442,606.80. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 148,777 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,065,419.73. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, VP Vicki B. Arthur sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, April 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.00, for a total transaction of $192,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 25,553 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,226,544. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of institutional investors have made changes to their positions in the stock. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its position in shares of Sonoco Products by 2,730.2% in the fourth quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 25,217 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,031,000 after buying an additional 24,326 shares during the last quarter. Hallmark Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Sonoco Products by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Hallmark Capital Management Inc. now owns 25,270 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,033,000 after buying an additional 110 shares during the last quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS boosted its position in shares of Sonoco Products by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 29,265 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,196,000 after buying an additional 128 shares during the last quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. boosted its position in shares of Sonoco Products by 6.7% in the fourth quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 43,704 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,786,000 after buying an additional 2,743 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of Montreal Can boosted its position in shares of Sonoco Products by 13.5% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 51,200 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,093,000 after buying an additional 6,087 shares during the last quarter.

Sonoco Products Company (Sonoco) is a manufacturer of industrial and consumer packaging products and a provider of packaging services. The Company operates in four segments: Consumer Packaging, Paper and Industrial Converted Products, Display and Packaging, and Protective Solutions. Its Consumer Packaging segment’s products and services include round composite cans, aluminum, steel and peelable membrane easy-open closures for composite and metal cans; plastic bottles, cups and trays, and printed flexible packaging and global brand management.

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