Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Flowers Foods is one of the largest producers of packaged bakery foods in the United States. The company operates highly efficient bakeries that produce a wide range of bakery food for retail and foodservice customers in the U.S. The company maintains some of the most efficient and technologically advanced bakeries in the country and has a team of outstanding employees and associates. Each bakery operates as a separate subsidiary of the company and has its own president, human resources director, and controller. “

Several other equities analysts have also recently commented on the company. Pivotal Research reiterated a buy rating and set a $26.00 target price (up from $23.00) on shares of Flowers Foods in a research note on Friday, January 12th. BMO Capital Markets increased their target price on Flowers Foods from $19.00 to $20.00 and gave the company a market perform rating in a research note on Wednesday, November 15th. SunTrust Banks reiterated a hold rating and set a $20.00 target price on shares of Flowers Foods in a research note on Friday, November 10th. Finally, TheStreet cut Flowers Foods from a b- rating to a c rating in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Flowers Foods has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $21.00.

Flowers Foods (NYSE FLO) opened at $20.37 on Thursday. The firm has a market capitalization of $4,270.00, a P/E ratio of 28.69, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.63 and a beta of 0.91. Flowers Foods has a fifty-two week low of $16.80 and a fifty-two week high of $21.00. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.67, a current ratio of 1.27 and a quick ratio of 1.01.

Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, February 7th. The company reported $0.17 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.14 by $0.03. The firm had revenue of $873.60 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $860.34 million. Flowers Foods had a return on equity of 15.17% and a net margin of 3.83%. Flowers Foods’s quarterly revenue was up .6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.16 EPS. equities analysts forecast that Flowers Foods will post 0.96 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, insider Brad K. Alexander sold 81,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $19.07, for a total transaction of $1,544,670.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 245,412 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,680,006.84. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, insider Tonja W. Taylor sold 4,960 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $19.57, for a total value of $97,067.20. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 22,055 shares in the company, valued at $431,616.35. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 270,935 shares of company stock valued at $5,224,268. Company insiders own 15.81% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Ffcm LLC raised its position in shares of Flowers Foods by 1,298.6% during the 3rd quarter. Ffcm LLC now owns 6,965 shares of the company’s stock valued at $131,000 after acquiring an additional 6,467 shares in the last quarter. BB&T Securities LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Flowers Foods during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $192,000. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank raised its position in shares of Flowers Foods by 48.7% during the 4th quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 9,976 shares of the company’s stock valued at $193,000 after acquiring an additional 3,266 shares in the last quarter. Fox Run Management L.L.C. acquired a new stake in shares of Flowers Foods during the 4th quarter valued at approximately $195,000. Finally, Round Table Services LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Flowers Foods during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $208,000. 66.46% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Flowers Foods Company Profile

Flowers Foods, Inc is a producer and marketer of packaged bakery products. The Company operates in two segments: direct-store-delivery segment (DSD Segment) and warehouse delivery segment (Warehouse Segment). The DSD segment produces fresh breads, buns, rolls, tortillas and snack cakes sold primarily by a network of independent distributors to retail and foodservice customers in the areas of the United States: East, South, Southwest, California, and select markets in the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, Nevada, and Colorado.

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