Flowers Foods, Inc. (NYSE:FLO)‘s stock had its “buy” rating reissued by equities research analysts at Jefferies Group LLC in a research report issued on Friday. They currently have a $23.00 target price on the stock. Jefferies Group LLC’s price objective points to a potential upside of 23.92% from the company’s previous close.

A number of other brokerages have also weighed in on FLO. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Flowers Foods from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, February 13th. TheStreet upgraded Flowers Foods from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Thursday, May 18th. Finally, Gabelli upgraded Flowers Foods from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, February 15th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. Flowers Foods currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $20.14.

Analyst Recommendations for Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO)

Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO) opened at 18.56 on Friday. Flowers Foods has a 12-month low of $14.35 and a 12-month high of $21.00. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $19.26 and a 200 day moving average of $18.89. The stock has a market cap of $3.88 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.52 and a beta of 0.87.

Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 17th. The company reported $0.25 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.25. The company had revenue of $1.19 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.21 billion. Flowers Foods had a return on equity of 16.42% and a net margin of 4.17%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.28 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Flowers Foods will post $0.88 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 23rd. Stockholders of record on Friday, June 9th will be issued a dividend of $0.17 per share. This represents a $0.68 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.66%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, June 7th. This is a positive change from Flowers Foods’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.16. Flowers Foods’s payout ratio is currently 83.12%.

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Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Flowers Foods by 13,803.5% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 14,447,449 shares of the company’s stock valued at $280,425,000 after buying an additional 14,343,537 shares in the last quarter. Wellington Shields & Co. LLC raised its position in Flowers Foods by 4,668.7% in the first quarter. Wellington Shields & Co. LLC now owns 6,665,434 shares of the company’s stock valued at $129,376,000 after buying an additional 6,525,659 shares in the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp raised its position in Flowers Foods by 48.2% in the first quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 3,990,226 shares of the company’s stock valued at $77,450,000 after buying an additional 1,297,541 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new position in Flowers Foods during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $25,343,000. Finally, OLD Republic International Corp bought a new position in Flowers Foods during the third quarter valued at approximately $20,542,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 67.50% of the company’s stock.

About Flowers Foods

Flowers Foods, Inc is a producer and marketer of packaged bakery products. The Company operates in two segments: direct-store-delivery segment (DSD Segment) and warehouse delivery segment (Warehouse Segment). The DSD segment produces fresh breads, buns, rolls, tortillas and snack cakes sold primarily by a network of independent distributors to retail and foodservice customers in the areas of the United States: East, South, Southwest, California, and select markets in the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, Nevada, and Colorado.

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