SYSCO (SYY) Upgraded to “Strong-Buy” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of SYSCO (NYSE:SYY) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report report published on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research currently has $71.00 price target on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Sysco Corporation recently outlined its key growth strategies, which will help it achieve its three-year financial goals for fiscal 2020. Sysco's four core strategies include enhancing consumers’ experience; optimising business; stimulating power of its people and achieving operational efficacy. Notably, the company has been gaining from its cost-saving and revenue-management efforts for quite some time now, as evident from its solid past record. These efforts, along with contsant focus on buyouts have helped Sysco surpass the industry in the past three months. However, Sysco's international results in the last reported quarter were hurt by softness in Europe, which is battling slow traffic. Moreover, weak UK currency resulted in food cost inflation, thereby leading to pricing pressure. While these hurdles are likely to persist in fiscal 2018, management expects its U.S. business to be buoyed by higher consumer demand.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Pivotal Research restated a hold rating and set a $53.00 price objective on shares of SYSCO in a research note on Sunday, November 5th. Loop Capital lifted their price objective on shares of SYSCO to $68.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Monday, December 11th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets set a $66.00 price objective on shares of SYSCO and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Friday, December 8th. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $59.55.

SYSCO (NYSE:SYY) traded up $0.16 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $61.38. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,026,124 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,057,815. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.77, a current ratio of 1.40 and a quick ratio of 0.88. The company has a market capitalization of $31,982.42, a PE ratio of 27.90, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.45 and a beta of 0.53. SYSCO has a 12 month low of $48.85 and a 12 month high of $62.79.

SYSCO (NYSE:SYY) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, November 6th. The company reported $0.74 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.72 by $0.02. SYSCO had a net margin of 2.12% and a return on equity of 58.47%. The business had revenue of $14.65 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $14.43 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business earned $0.67 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 4.9% on a year-over-year basis. analysts predict that SYSCO will post 2.81 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, January 26th. Shareholders of record on Friday, January 5th will be given a $0.36 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, January 4th. This is a boost from SYSCO’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.33. This represents a $1.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.35%. SYSCO’s payout ratio is 65.45%.

In other SYSCO news, CEO William J. Delaney III sold 150,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.05, for a total value of $8,107,500.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 526,725 shares in the company, valued at $28,469,486.25. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Greg D. Bertrand sold 81,038 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, January 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.76, for a total transaction of $4,923,868.88. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 69,721 shares in the company, valued at $4,236,247.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders sold 321,172 shares of company stock worth $18,233,905. 9.60% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in SYSCO by 1.6% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 38,501,911 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,937,801,000 after acquiring an additional 590,968 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in SYSCO by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 32,291,082 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,625,211,000 after purchasing an additional 83,464 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in SYSCO by 1.0% in the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 26,707,981 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,344,209,000 after purchasing an additional 272,303 shares in the last quarter. Capital World Investors increased its stake in SYSCO by 11.7% in the 2nd quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 13,767,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $692,893,000 after purchasing an additional 1,445,000 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Ameriprise Financial Inc. increased its stake in SYSCO by 2.0% in the 3rd quarter. Ameriprise Financial Inc. now owns 10,451,813 shares of the company’s stock worth $563,890,000 after purchasing an additional 208,815 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 80.07% of the company’s stock.

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About SYSCO

Sysco Corporation (Sysco) is a distributor of food and related products primarily to the foodservice or food-away-from-home industry. The Company’s segments include Broadline, SYGMA and Other. The Broadline segment includes its Broadline operations located in the Bahamas, Canada, Costa Rica, Ireland, Mexico and the United States.

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