Diageo (NYSE:DEO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Diageo have outperformed the industry in the past one year, driven by its strong fundamentals, continuous innovation and focus on expansion. Also, the company’s strategic endeavors including growth via acquisitions remain noteworthy. In fact, the buyout of the U.S. fastest-growing premium tequila brand, Casamigos, is expected to boost its market share in the category and is likely to capitalize on the company’s presence in the high-growth international markets. Notably, alcohol stocks are doing well backed by the rising demand for flavored whisky, premium tequilas and spirits. Further the company has been striving toward expanding its presence in emerging regions as well as focus on high-margin products. However, currency fluctuations as well as other macroeconomic factors such as interest rate hikes and increase in fuel and energy costs may also impact the company’s profitability.”

DEO has been the subject of several other reports. Evercore ISI initiated coverage on Diageo in a report on Thursday, September 28th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $152.00 price target for the company. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $155.40 target price (up previously from $155.20) on shares of Diageo in a report on Saturday, September 30th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $156.00.

Shares of Diageo (DEO) traded up $0.06 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $145.15. The company had a trading volume of 421,300 shares, compared to its average volume of 438,817. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.58, a current ratio of 1.30 and a quick ratio of 0.58. Diageo has a 52-week low of $106.61 and a 52-week high of $147.06.

A number of institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in DEO. Family Capital Trust Co acquired a new stake in Diageo in the third quarter valued at $119,000. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC increased its position in shares of Diageo by 404.4% in the second quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 1,039 shares of the company’s stock valued at $125,000 after buying an additional 833 shares in the last quarter. Rockefeller Financial Services Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Diageo in the third quarter valued at $125,000. Quadrant Capital Group LLC increased its position in shares of Diageo by 11.4% in the second quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 1,391 shares of the company’s stock valued at $142,000 after buying an additional 142 shares in the last quarter. Finally, UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. increased its position in shares of Diageo by 124.4% in the second quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 1,479 shares of the company’s stock valued at $177,000 after buying an additional 820 shares in the last quarter. 12.04% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Diageo

Diageo PLC is an alcoholic beverage company. The Company operates in various categories, including spirits and beer. Its geographic segments include North America; Europe, Russia and Turkey; Africa; Latin America and Caribbean, and Asia Pacific. Its principal products includes Scotch whisky, Gin, Vodka, Rum, Beer, Irish Cream Liqueur, Wine, Raki, Tequila, Canadian Whisky, American Whiskey, Progressive Adult Beverages, Cachaca, Brandy and Ready to Drink.

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