SunOpta (NASDAQ:STKL) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of SunOpta (NASDAQ:STKL) (TSE:SOY) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report published on Friday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “SunOpta Inc. is an operator of high-growth ethical businesses, focusing on integrated business models in the natural and organic food, supplements and health and beauty markets. The Company has three business units: the SunOpta Food Group, which specializes in sourcing, processing and distribution of natural and organic food products integrated from seed through packaged products; the Opta Minerals Group, a producer, distributor, and recycler of environmentally friendly industrial materials; and the SunOpta BioProcess Group which engineers and markets proprietary steam explosion technology systems for the pulp, bio-fuel and food processing industries. Each of these business units has proprietary products and services that give it a solid competitive advantage in its sector. “

A number of other equities analysts have also recently commented on STKL. Citigroup set a $3.00 price target on shares of SunOpta and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Monday, August 12th. ValuEngine raised shares of SunOpta from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, August 2nd. Finally, BidaskClub cut shares of SunOpta from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Monday, June 24th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, one has issued a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $3.00.

STKL stock opened at $2.39 on Friday. SunOpta has a 12 month low of $1.98 and a 12 month high of $7.95. The company has a current ratio of 1.23, a quick ratio of 0.37 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.94. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $2.40 and a 200 day moving average price of $3.26. The stock has a market cap of $209.86 million, a PE ratio of -8.54 and a beta of 0.74.

SunOpta (NASDAQ:STKL) (TSE:SOY) last released its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, August 7th. The company reported ($0.10) EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of ($0.09) by ($0.01). SunOpta had a negative return on equity of 14.49% and a negative net margin of 6.93%. The firm had revenue of $293.00 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $302.40 million. Sell-side analysts forecast that SunOpta will post -0.39 EPS for the current year.

In related news, Director Richard Dean Hollis acquired 75,360 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, August 9th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $2.08 per share, with a total value of $156,748.80. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 334,279 shares in the company, valued at $695,300.32. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, CEO Joseph Ennen acquired 100,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, August 12th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $2.25 per share, with a total value of $225,000.00. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders acquired 294,670 shares of company stock valued at $639,810. 2.16% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Royal Bank of Canada boosted its position in SunOpta by 53.9% in the 2nd quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 13,387 shares of the company’s stock valued at $44,000 after buying an additional 4,686 shares during the period. Aperio Group LLC boosted its position in SunOpta by 76.4% in the 2nd quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 25,630 shares of the company’s stock valued at $84,000 after buying an additional 11,097 shares during the period. Hollencrest Capital Management purchased a new stake in SunOpta in the 1st quarter valued at about $87,000. Millennium Management LLC purchased a new stake in SunOpta in the 4th quarter valued at about $117,000. Finally, Atria Investments LLC boosted its position in SunOpta by 37.8% in the 2nd quarter. Atria Investments LLC now owns 76,222 shares of the company’s stock valued at $157,000 after buying an additional 20,915 shares during the period. 77.41% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

SunOpta Company Profile

SunOpta Inc sources non-genetically modified (non-GMO) and organic ingredients; and manufactures food and beverage products in the United States, Canada, Europe, and internationally. The company operates through Global Ingredients and Consumer Products segments. The Global Ingredients segment offers organic fruit- and vegetable-based raw materials and ingredients, sweeteners, cocoa, coffees, ancient grains, nuts, seeds and pulses, and other organic food products; identity preserved, non-GMO, and organic seeds and grains, including soy, corn, and sunflower; and seed and grain-based animal feed, and pet food products.

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