Zacks Investment Research Upgrades International Paper Co. (IP) to “Strong-Buy”
International Paper Co. (NYSE:IP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a report released on Monday. The firm currently has a $55.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price would indicate a potential upside of 16.80% from the company’s previous close.
According to Zacks, “International Paper is undergoing restructuring initiatives to transform itself into a core packaging firm. The acquisition of Weyerhaeuser’s pulp business will strengthen International Paper’s position in the global fluff pulp market and augment its operating cash flow. In addition, the company expects the transaction to generate annual synergies of approximately $175 million by 2018 along with a higher flexibility to manage a wide portfolio of products through superior R&D capabilities and priceless patent portfolio. In North America, the company also envisions a large opportunity within its industrial packaging businesses. International Paper has a positive earnings surprise history, having beaten estimates in each of the trailing four quarters. Earnings estimates have remained steady over the last week. However, huge pension obligations and volatility in raw material prices could reduce its profitability.”
Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. Jefferies Group increased their target price on International Paper from $47.00 to $49.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Royal Bank Of Canada reiterated a “sector perform” rating and set a $42.00 target price on shares of International Paper in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a “hold” rating and set a $42.00 price target on shares of International Paper in a research note on Wednesday, August 31st. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “market perform” rating and set a $47.00 price target on shares of International Paper in a research note on Saturday, August 13th. Finally, Vetr lowered International Paper from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $46.81 price target for the company. in a research note on Monday, June 20th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. International Paper currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $47.71.
International Paper (NYSE:IP) opened at 47.09 on Monday. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $48.06 and its 200 day moving average price is $44.13. The stock has a market capitalization of $19.36 billion, a PE ratio of 25.51 and a beta of 1.55. International Paper has a 1-year low of $32.50 and a 1-year high of $49.90.
International Paper (NYSE:IP) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.92 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.84 by $0.08. International Paper had a return on equity of 35.41% and a net margin of 3.58%. The firm earned $5.30 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.32 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.97 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 6.9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts predict that International Paper will post $3.49 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 15th were issued a dividend of $0.44 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 11th. This represents a $1.76 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.74%. International Paper’s payout ratio is currently 94.12%.
In other International Paper news, CFO Carol L. Roberts sold 12,256 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.20, for a total transaction of $566,227.20. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider William P. Hoel sold 20,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.12, for a total value of $962,400.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.64% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in IP. Peapack Gladstone Financial Corp increased its position in International Paper by 3.0% in the first quarter. Peapack Gladstone Financial Corp now owns 212,094 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,704,000 after buying an additional 6,262 shares during the last quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC increased its position in International Paper by 3.3% in the first quarter. Sentry Investment Management LLC now owns 32,379 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,329,000 after buying an additional 1,028 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its position in International Paper by 48.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 10,300,909 shares of the company’s stock valued at $422,749,000 after buying an additional 3,356,879 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Group LTD increased its position in International Paper by 42.8% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 5,612,262 shares of the company’s stock valued at $230,327,000 after buying an additional 1,681,518 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Inc. increased its position in International Paper by 5.4% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,292,898 shares of the company’s stock valued at $53,061,000 after buying an additional 65,802 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 81.73% of the company’s stock.
International Paper Company Profile
International Paper Company (International Paper) is a paper and packaging company with primary markets and manufacturing operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Russia, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The Company operates in three segments: Industrial Packaging, Printing Papers and Consumer Packaging.
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