Sonoco Products Co. (NYSE:SON) hit a new 52-week high during trading on Wednesday . The stock traded as high as $51.97 and last traded at $51.65, with a volume of 184,879 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $51.59.

SON has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Sonoco Products in a research note on Wednesday, May 18th. Jefferies Group increased their price objective on shares of Sonoco Products from $42.00 to $46.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday. Vertical Research downgraded shares of Sonoco Products from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, March 18th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Sonoco Products from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, June 27th. Finally, Bank of America Corp. downgraded shares of Sonoco Products from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, March 18th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $45.56.

The firm has a market capitalization of $5.18 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.49. The company has a 50-day moving average of $48.50 and a 200 day moving average of $45.32.

Sonoco Products (NYSE:SON) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 21st. The company reported $0.65 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.60 by $0.05. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.54 earnings per share. The company earned $1.23 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.21 billion. Sonoco Products’s quarterly revenue was up 1.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Sonoco Products Co. will post $2.71 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other Sonoco Products news, VP R. Howard Coker sold 9,320 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, April 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.49, for a total transaction of $442,606.80. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 148,777 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,065,419.73. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, CFO Barry L. Saunders sold 9,009 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.63, for a total transaction of $429,098.67. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 40,047 shares in the company, valued at $1,907,438.61. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other large investors have added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Schroder Investment Management Group increased its stake in Sonoco Products by 182.2% in the fourth quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 1,525,741 shares of the company’s stock valued at $62,357,000 after buying an additional 985,041 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in Sonoco Products by 2.0% in the fourth quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 6,938,282 shares of the company’s stock valued at $283,568,000 after buying an additional 135,323 shares during the period. OppenheimerFunds Inc. increased its stake in Sonoco Products by 13.9% in the fourth quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 439,285 shares of the company’s stock valued at $17,954,000 after buying an additional 53,495 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its stake in Sonoco Products by 1.4% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 1,767,514 shares of the company’s stock valued at $72,245,000 after buying an additional 24,569 shares during the period. Finally, BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA increased its stake in 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 period.

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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