Zacks Investment Research cut shares of WPP (NYSE:WPP) from a buy rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Friday.

According to Zacks, “WPP is in marketing communications services. They are made up of companies in: Advertising; Media Investment Management; Data Investment Management; Public Relations & Public Affairs; Branding & Identity; Healthcare Communications; Digital, eCommerce & Shopper Marketing; Specialist Communications. “

A number of other research analysts also recently issued reports on WPP. ValuEngine downgraded WPP from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Saturday, June 2nd. Pivotal Research downgraded WPP from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Monday, June 4th. Berenberg Bank downgraded WPP from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 5th. Moffett Nathanson started coverage on WPP in a research note on Tuesday, June 19th. They set a neutral rating on the stock. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a buy rating on shares of WPP in a research note on Monday, July 23rd. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $107.00.

NYSE:WPP traded up $0.92 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $75.00. 178,438 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 126,927. The company has a market capitalization of $18.72 billion, a PE ratio of 9.66, a P/E/G ratio of 2.43 and a beta of 1.14. The company has a quick ratio of 0.95, a current ratio of 1.02 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65. WPP has a 1 year low of $73.66 and a 1 year high of $103.53.

The business also recently announced a semiannual dividend, which will be paid on Monday, November 5th. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 5th will be paid a $1.4595 dividend. This is an increase from WPP’s previous semiannual dividend of $1.45. This represents a dividend yield of 3.93%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, October 4th. WPP’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 63.66%.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. FNY Investment Advisers LLC purchased a new position in shares of WPP in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $279,000. Scout Investments Inc. grew its stake in shares of WPP by 6.1% in the 2nd quarter. Scout Investments Inc. now owns 28,020 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $2,202,000 after purchasing an additional 1,620 shares during the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can purchased a new position in shares of WPP in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $6,756,000. Manning & Napier Group LLC purchased a new position in shares of WPP in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $1,274,000. Finally, SOL Capital Management CO grew its stake in shares of WPP by 46.4% in the 2nd quarter. SOL Capital Management CO now owns 6,150 shares of the business services provider’s stock valued at $483,000 after purchasing an additional 1,950 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 5.15% of the company’s stock.

WPP Company Profile

WPP plc provides various communications services worldwide. The company operates through four segments: Advertising and Media Investment Management; Data Investment Management; Public Relations & Public Affairs; and Branding Consulting, Health & Wellness and Specialist Communications. The Advertising and Media Investment Management segment provides advertising services; and media planning and buying, and specialist sponsorship, and branded entertainment services.

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