Graphic Packaging (GPK) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Graphic Packaging (NYSE:GPK) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “GRAPHIC PACKAGING CORPORATION, headquartered in Marietta, Georgia, is a leading provider of paperboard packaging solutions for a wide variety of products to food, beverage and other consumer products companies. Graphic Packaging’s customers include some of the most widely recognized companies in the world. “

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Other research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. BMO Capital Markets reduced their target price on Graphic Packaging from $18.00 to $17.00 and set an outperform rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, February 7th. Royal Bank of Canada reiterated a buy rating and set a $19.00 target price on shares of Graphic Packaging in a research note on Thursday, February 1st. Citigroup reduced their target price on Graphic Packaging from $19.00 to $18.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, April 5th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Graphic Packaging from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 3rd. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $17.31.

Shares of NYSE GPK traded up $0.01 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $15.81. 189,496 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,814,696. The company has a current ratio of 1.37, a quick ratio of 0.63 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.71. Graphic Packaging has a 12 month low of $12.65 and a 12 month high of $16.74. The company has a market capitalization of $4,862.54, a P/E ratio of 24.53, a P/E/G ratio of 3.60 and a beta of 1.15.

Graphic Packaging (NYSE:GPK) last issued its earnings results on Tuesday, February 6th. The industrial products company reported $0.17 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.19 by ($0.02). Graphic Packaging had a return on equity of 17.09% and a net margin of 6.82%. The business had revenue of $1.11 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.11 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.14 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 5.0% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts predict that Graphic Packaging will post 0.87 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, April 5th. Investors of record on Thursday, March 15th were issued a dividend of $0.075 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, March 14th. This represents a $0.30 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.90%. Graphic Packaging’s payout ratio is currently 47.62%.

In other Graphic Packaging news, SVP Joseph P. Yost sold 50,000 shares of Graphic Packaging stock in a transaction on Friday, March 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $15.00, for a total value of $750,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 306,926 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,603,890. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Joseph P. Yost sold 15,137 shares of Graphic Packaging stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $15.60, for a total value of $236,137.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 343,472 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,358,163.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 215,137 shares of company stock valued at $3,311,137. 0.62% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company raised its holdings in Graphic Packaging by 6.6% in the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 12,512 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $172,000 after acquiring an additional 774 shares in the last quarter. Amalgamated Bank raised its holdings in Graphic Packaging by 6.0% in the 4th quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 61,255 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $946,000 after acquiring an additional 3,460 shares in the last quarter. Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky raised its holdings in Graphic Packaging by 4.1% in the 4th quarter. Teachers Retirement System of The State of Kentucky now owns 94,144 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $1,455,000 after acquiring an additional 3,749 shares in the last quarter. Engineers Gate Manager LP raised its holdings in Graphic Packaging by 3.7% in the 4th quarter. Engineers Gate Manager LP now owns 105,909 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $1,636,000 after acquiring an additional 3,774 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Russell Investments Group Ltd. raised its holdings in Graphic Packaging by 14.7% in the 3rd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 36,767 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $513,000 after acquiring an additional 4,722 shares in the last quarter. 99.83% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Graphic Packaging Company Profile

Graphic Packaging Holding Company is a provider of paper-based packaging solutions for a range of products to food, beverage and other consumer product companies. The Company’s segments include Paperboard Mills, Americas Paperboard Packaging, Europe Paperboard Packaging, and Corporate and Other. The Paperboard Mills segment includes the Company’s North American paperboard mills, which produce primarily coated unbleached kraft and coated recycled board.

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