Flowers Foods Inc. (NYSE:FLO) gapped up before the market opened on Friday . The stock had previously closed at $18.80, but opened at $18.81. Flowers Foods shares last traded at $19.04, with a volume of 388,036 shares traded.

Several brokerages have recently weighed in on FLO. Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $20.00 target price on shares of Flowers Foods in a research note on Saturday, April 9th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Flowers Foods from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 12th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating on shares of Flowers Foods in a research note on Thursday, April 14th. Finally, KeyCorp began coverage on shares of Flowers Foods in a research note on Wednesday, May 25th. They issued a “sector weight” rating for the company. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $19.86.

The stock’s 50 day moving average is $18.47 and its 200-day moving average is $18.76. The company has a market cap of $4.07 billion and a PE ratio of 21.52.

Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, May 18th. The company reported $0.28 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.29 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $1.02 billion for the quarter. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.29 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 5.1% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts predict that Flowers Foods Inc. will post $1.01 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In related news, CAO Karyl H. Lauder sold 23,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $17.96, for a total transaction of $422,060.00. Following the transaction, the chief accounting officer now owns 132,851 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,386,003.96. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Chairman George E. Deese sold 560,731 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $18.69, for a total transaction of $10,480,062.39. Following the transaction, the chairman now directly owns 3,255,743 shares in the company, valued at approximately $60,849,836.67. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of institutional investors have modified their holdings of FLO. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Flowers Foods by 6.3% in the fourth quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 14,532,095 shares of the company’s stock valued at $312,295,000 after buying an additional 855,280 shares during the last quarter. Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Flowers Foods by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Diamond Hill Capital Management Inc. now owns 3,199,842 shares of the company’s stock valued at $68,765,000 after buying an additional 15,799 shares during the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group raised its position in shares of Flowers Foods by 127.5% in the fourth quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 938,300 shares of the company’s stock valued at $20,164,000 after buying an additional 525,800 shares during the last quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. raised its position in shares of Flowers Foods by 32.8% in the fourth quarter. Cornerstone Capital Management Holdings LLC. now owns 718,185 shares of the company’s stock valued at $15,435,000 after buying an additional 177,560 shares during the last quarter. Finally, California Public Employees Retirement System raised its position in shares of Flowers Foods by 13.7% in the fourth quarter. California Public Employees Retirement System now owns 690,069 shares of the company’s stock valued at $14,830,000 after buying an additional 83,400 shares during the last quarter.

Flowers Foods, Inc is a producer and marketer of bakery products. The Company operates in two segments: direct-store-delivery segment (DSD Segment) and warehouse delivery segment (Warehouse Segment). The DSD segment’s production plant locations include Birmingham, Alabama; Opelika, Alabama; Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Goldsboro, North Carolina; Jamestown, North Carolina, and Oxford, Pennsylvania.

Get Analysts' Upgrades and Downgrades Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of analysts' upgrades, downgrades and new coverage with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.