Investment analysts at KeyCorp began coverage on shares of Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ:CENT) in a note issued to investors on Thursday. The brokerage set an “overweight” rating on the stock.

Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. BidaskClub cut Central Garden & Pet from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 25th. Zacks Investment Research cut Central Garden & Pet from a “hold” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Tuesday, August 7th. BMO Capital Markets initiated coverage on Central Garden & Pet in a research report on Monday, August 13th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $45.00 price target for the company. ValuEngine raised Central Garden & Pet from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, June 29th. Finally, Bank of America initiated coverage on Central Garden & Pet in a research report on Monday, September 10th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $44.00 price target for the company. Three 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 company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $44.57.

Shares of CENT traded down $1.59 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $32.71. The stock had a trading volume of 103,872 shares, compared to its average volume of 125,075. Central Garden & Pet has a 12 month low of $32.52 and a 12 month high of $45.02. The company has a quick ratio of 2.57, a current ratio of 4.42 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.93. The stock has a market cap of $1.88 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.81 and a beta of -0.16.

Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ:CENT) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, August 1st. The company reported $0.79 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.80 by ($0.01). Central Garden & Pet had a return on equity of 14.69% and a net margin of 5.32%. The firm had revenue of $657.90 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $607.34 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.62 earnings per share. Central Garden & Pet’s revenue for the quarter was up 14.5% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that Central Garden & Pet will post 1.9 EPS for the current year.

In related news, Director Brooks Pennington III sold 1,977 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.30, for a total value of $71,765.10. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 40,851 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,482,891.30. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 12.60% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Central Garden & Pet by 5.5% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 1,572,845 shares of the company’s stock valued at $68,389,000 after buying an additional 82,497 shares during the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its position in shares of Central Garden & Pet by 107.9% during the 2nd quarter. FMR LLC now owns 984,953 shares of the company’s stock valued at $42,826,000 after purchasing an additional 511,229 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its position in shares of Central Garden & Pet by 8.9% during the 2nd quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 919,944 shares of the company’s stock valued at $39,999,000 after purchasing an additional 75,175 shares during the last quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC increased its position in shares of Central Garden & Pet by 2.4% during the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 803,076 shares of the company’s stock valued at $34,918,000 after purchasing an additional 18,900 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Portolan Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of Central Garden & Pet by 14.0% during the 2nd quarter. Portolan Capital Management LLC now owns 215,144 shares of the company’s stock valued at $9,354,000 after purchasing an additional 26,414 shares during the last quarter. 23.49% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Central Garden & Pet

Central Garden & Pet Company, together with its subsidiaries, produces and distributes products for the lawn and garden, and pet supplies markets in the United States. It operates through two segments, Pet and Garden. The Pet segment supplies products for dogs and cats comprising edible bones, edible and non-edible chews, rawhide, dog and cat food and treats, toys, pet carriers, grooming supplies, and other accessories; and food, cages and habitats, toys, chews, and related accessories for birds, small animals, and specialty pets.

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Analyst Recommendations for Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ:CENT)

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