Shares of Sonoco Products Co. (NYSE:SON) reached a new 52-week high during trading on Tuesday . The stock traded as high as $52.00 and last traded at $51.77, with a volume of 136,235 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $51.54.

SON has been the topic of a number of research analyst reports. Jefferies Group lifted their price target on shares of Sonoco Products from $42.00 to $46.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 14th. Barclays PLC lifted their price target on shares of Sonoco Products from $40.00 to $44.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Monday, July 25th. Deutsche Bank AG set a $42.00 price target on shares of Sonoco Products and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Sunday, July 24th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Sonoco Products from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, July 25th. Finally, Vertical Group lowered shares of Sonoco Products from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, July 25th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $45.78.

The company has a 50-day moving average price of $51.10 and a 200 day moving average price of $47.69. The stock has a market cap of $5.19 billion and a PE ratio of 24.519.

Sonoco Products (NYSE:SON) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 21st. The company reported $0.73 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.68 by $0.05. The company earned $1.21 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.26 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.68 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 3.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Sonoco Products Co. will post $2.72 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 9th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 12th will be paid a $0.37 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, August 10th. This represents a $1.48 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.87%.

In other Sonoco Products news, CFO Barry L. Saunders sold 9,009 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.63, for a total value of $429,098.67. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 40,047 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,907,438.61. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP James A. Harrell III sold 2,048 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.87, for a total transaction of $98,037.76. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 19,181 shares in the company, valued at approximately $918,194.47. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of hedge funds and institutional investors recently added to or reduced their stakes in SON. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA raised its position 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 in the last quarter. Venturi Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Sonoco Products during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $1,428,000. Bank of Montreal Can raised 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 period. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Sonoco Products by 7.3% in the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 420,153 shares of the company’s stock valued at $17,172,000 after buying an additional 28,472 shares during the period. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in shares of 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.

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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