Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Greif (NYSE:GEF) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report released on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Greif expects its adjusted earnings per share for fiscal 2018 to be $3.53-$3.69. The company maintained capital expenditure outlook of $120-$140 million for the fiscal. Greif’s performance will be impacted by affected by the strengthening of U.S. dollar and weak agricultural sales. Further, transportation tightness in North America is impacting its in-transit inventory levels. Thus, elevated transportation costs are anticipated to remain a headwind for Greif’s Rigid Industrial Packaging & Services and Paper Packaging & Services segments. Further, the company continues to experience competitive market conditions in China. The stock has underperformed the industry over the past six months. “

A number of other analysts have also recently weighed in on GEF. KeyCorp reissued a sell rating and set a $50.00 price objective on shares of Greif in a report on Thursday, August 30th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $65.00 price objective on shares of Greif and gave the stock a buy rating in a report on Thursday, October 18th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $62.43.

GEF stock opened at $45.01 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88, a quick ratio of 1.09 and a current ratio of 1.58. Greif has a twelve month low of $43.04 and a twelve month high of $65.60. The company has a market cap of $2.39 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.26, a P/E/G ratio of 1.48 and a beta of 1.30.

Greif (NYSE:GEF) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, December 5th. The industrial products company reported $1.08 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.19 by ($0.11). Greif had a return on equity of 18.10% and a net margin of 5.26%. The company had revenue of $987.70 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.02 billion. As a group, analysts predict that Greif will post 3.63 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, January 1st. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, December 18th will be issued a dividend of $0.44 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, December 17th. This represents a $1.76 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.91%. Greif’s payout ratio is currently 59.66%.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd raised its holdings in Greif by 191.1% during the third quarter. Point72 Hong Kong Ltd now owns 2,000 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $107,000 after purchasing an additional 1,313 shares in the last quarter. Itau Unibanco Holding S.A. acquired a new position in shares of Greif in the 2nd quarter valued at $162,000. Commonwealth Bank of Australia acquired a new position in shares of Greif in the 3rd quarter valued at $241,000. Vident Investment Advisory LLC acquired a new position in shares of Greif in the 3rd quarter valued at $241,000. Finally, Acadian Asset Management LLC increased its holdings in shares of Greif by 2,472.1% in the 2nd quarter. Acadian Asset Management LLC now owns 4,887 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $258,000 after acquiring an additional 4,697 shares during the period. 48.21% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

Greif Company Profile

Greif, Inc produces and sells industrial packaging products and services worldwide. It operates in four segments: Rigid Industrial Packaging & Services; Paper Packaging & Services; Flexible Products & Services; and Land Management. The Rigid Industrial Packaging & Services segment offers rigid industrial packaging products, including steel, fiber, and plastic drums; rigid intermediate bulk containers; closure systems for industrial packaging products; transit protection products; water bottles, and remanufactured and reconditioned industrial containers; and services, such as container life cycle management, filling, logistics, warehousing, and other packaging services.

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