Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Owing to improved sales and effective cost management, Dean Foods’ earnings of $0.40 per share for fourth-quarter 2012 jumped 48% from the year-ago quarter and exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $0.30. Net sales increased 3.7% to $3,417.8 million and beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $3,377.0 million. The company expects its first-quarter and full year 2013 earnings to come in the range of $0.22-$0.27 and $1.00-$1.10 per share, respectively. Further, we believe that the recent sale of Morningstar business along with publicly listing of The WhiteWave Company has provided financial flexibility for funding future growth plan while minimizing debt. However, anticipating an adverse impact on margins due to fluctuating raw milk prices, we prefer to be on the sidelines. Despite the projection of a 10% decline in raw milk prices in the upcoming quarter compared to the fourth quarter of 2012, it will remain higher than first-quarter 2012. Therefore, we have retained our long-term Neutral recommendation on the stock.”
A number of other firms have also recently commented on DF. Analysts at BMO Capital Markets cut their price target on shares of Dean Foods from $23.00 to $22.00 in a research note to investors on Thursday, February 14th. They now have an outperform rating on the stock. Separately, analysts at UBS AG cut their price target on shares of Dean Foods from $19.00 to $18.00 in a research note to investors on Thursday, February 14th. They now have a neutral rating on the stock. Finally, analysts at Wells Fargo initiated coverage on shares of Dean Foods in a research note to investors on Wednesday, January 30th. They set an outperform rating on the stock.
Six research analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating, two have assigned an overweight rating, and eight have assigned a hold rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of overweight and a consensus target price of $20.30.
Dean Foods traded up 0.13% on Wednesday, hitting $15.86. Dean Foods has a 52-week low of $11.45 and a 52-week high of $19.17. The stock’s 50-day moving average is currently $17.81. The company has a market cap of $2.940 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.52.
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