Short Interest in Sonoco Products (NYSE:SON) Declines By 19.1%

Sonoco Products (NYSE:SON) was the recipient of a large decrease in short interest in March. As of March 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,570,000 shares, a decrease of 19.1% from the March 15th total of 1,940,000 shares. Approximately 1.6% of the shares of the stock are sold short. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 444,800 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 3.5 days.

A number of research firms recently weighed in on SON. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft increased their price objective on shares of Sonoco Products from $52.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 20th. Wells Fargo & Company reissued an “equal weight” rating and issued a $69.00 price objective on shares of Sonoco Products in a research report on Wednesday, April 14th. BMO Capital Markets lowered shares of Sonoco Products from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and reduced their price objective for the stock from $68.00 to $65.00 in a research report on Tuesday, January 26th. Finally, Seaport Global Securities lowered shares of Sonoco Products from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating and eight have issued a hold rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $60.25.

In related news, VP James A. Harrell III sold 580 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $62.63, for a total value of $36,325.40. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 22,828 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,429,717.64. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. 0.58% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of SON. Graves Light Private Wealth Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Sonoco Products during the fourth quarter worth $30,000. Concord Wealth Partners purchased a new position in Sonoco Products in the fourth quarter valued at $36,000. Whittier Trust Co. purchased a new position in Sonoco Products in the fourth quarter valued at $39,000. SOA Wealth Advisors LLC. purchased a new position in Sonoco Products in the fourth quarter valued at $46,000. Finally, Greenhouse Wealth Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Sonoco Products in the fourth quarter valued at about $47,000. 74.02% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

NYSE SON opened at $64.88 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.86, a quick ratio of 1.23 and a current ratio of 1.52. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $62.98 and its 200-day moving average price is $58.90. Sonoco Products has a 52-week low of $42.41 and a 52-week high of $65.37. The company has a market cap of $6.53 billion, a PE ratio of 24.95, a P/E/G ratio of 3.48 and a beta of 0.83.

Sonoco Products (NYSE:SON) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, February 10th. The industrial products company reported $0.82 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.77 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $1.38 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.31 billion. Sonoco Products had a net margin of 5.11% and a return on equity of 18.67%. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.75 earnings per share. On average, analysts forecast that Sonoco Products will post 3.36 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, March 10th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, February 24th were issued a $0.45 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, February 23rd. This represents a $1.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.77%. This is a boost from Sonoco Products’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.43. Sonoco Products’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 50.99%.

Sonoco Products Company Profile

Sonoco Products Company manufactures and sells industrial and consumer packaging products in North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. The company operates through four segments: Consumer Packaging, Display and Packaging, Paper and Industrial Converted Products, and Protective Solutions. The Consumer Packaging segment provides paper and thermoformed plastic round and shaped rigid containers and trays; extruded and injection-molded plastic products; printed flexible packaging products; brand artwork management; and metal and peelable membrane ends and closures.

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