Unilever (UN) Sees Unusually-High Trading Volume After Analyst Upgrade

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Unilever NV (NYSE:UN) shares saw unusually-high trading volume on Tuesday after Zacks Investment Research upgraded the stock from a sell rating to a hold rating. Approximately 2,736,002 shares changed hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 97% from the previous session’s volume of 1,385,399 shares.The stock last traded at $57.27 and had previously closed at $57.07.

According to Zacks, “Unilever is one of the world’s largest consumer products companies. They produce and market a wide range of foods, home and personal care products. Their leading brands include Dove, Lipton, Magnum, Omo and Rama. They are the number one producer of frozen foods in Europe, They are also a leader in the branded olive oil category the most important brand being Bertolli. They are the largest seller of packet tea in the world through our Lipton and Brooke Bond brands. “

A number of other analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Unilever in a research note on Wednesday, August 1st. Deutsche Bank reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Unilever in a research note on Friday, July 20th. Finally, Argus lifted their price target on shares of Unilever to $65.00 and gave the company an “average” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $65.50.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in UN. FDx Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of Unilever by 11.8% in the first quarter. FDx Advisors Inc. now owns 45,757 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,580,000 after purchasing an additional 4,812 shares during the period. FTB Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of Unilever by 7.2% in the first quarter. FTB Advisors Inc. now owns 61,829 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,508,000 after purchasing an additional 4,153 shares during the period. Mirador Capital Partners LP raised its position in shares of Unilever by 4.4% in the first quarter. Mirador Capital Partners LP now owns 48,253 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,756,000 after purchasing an additional 2,040 shares during the period. Cobblestone Capital Advisors LLC NY raised its position in shares of Unilever by 51.0% in the first quarter. Cobblestone Capital Advisors LLC NY now owns 247,762 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,971,000 after purchasing an additional 83,731 shares during the period. Finally, Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI bought a new position in shares of Unilever in the first quarter valued at approximately $396,000. 8.31% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

The stock has a market cap of $97.26 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.59, a P/E/G ratio of 2.89 and a beta of 0.85.

Unilever (NYSE:UN) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 19th. The company reported $1.33 EPS for the quarter, meeting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.33. sell-side analysts forecast that Unilever NV will post 2.76 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, September 5th. Investors of record on Friday, August 3rd will be given a dividend of $0.4531 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 2nd. This represents a $1.81 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.16%. This is a positive change from Unilever’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.45. Unilever’s payout ratio is 60.87%.

About Unilever (NYSE:UN)

Unilever N.V. operates in the fast-moving consumer goods industry worldwide. The company operates through Personal Care, Home Care, Foods, and Refreshment segments. The Personal Care segment offers skincare and haircare products, deodorants, and oral care products. This segment markets its products under the Axe, Dove, Lux, Rexona, Sunsilk, TRESemmé, Signal, Lifebuoy, Vaseline, Dermalogica, Murad, Dollar Shave Club, Zest & Camay, and Seventh Generation brands.

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