Bunge (NYSE:BG) Upgraded to Strong-Buy by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Bunge (NYSE:BG) from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating in a report released on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports. The firm currently has $64.00 target price on the basic materials company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Bunge Ltd. is an integrated global agribusiness and food company spanning the farm-to-consumer food chain. Bunge processes, produces, moves, distributes and markets food on five continents. “

A number of other equities analysts also recently commented on the company. Stephens started coverage on Bunge in a report on Tuesday, October 8th. They issued an overweight rating and a $74.00 price objective on the stock. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a buy rating on shares of Bunge in a research report on Monday, November 4th. TheStreet lowered Bunge from a b- rating to a c- rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 30th. ValuEngine lowered Bunge from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, November 1st. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group upgraded Bunge from a neutral rating to a buy rating and lifted their target price for the stock from $64.00 to $67.00 in a research report on Tuesday, December 10th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, four have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $67.83.

Bunge stock traded up $1.09 during trading hours on Wednesday, hitting $56.47. The stock had a trading volume of 330,886 shares, compared to its average volume of 693,071. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.29, a current ratio of 1.47 and a quick ratio of 0.73. The stock has a market capitalization of $7.87 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.76 and a beta of 0.88. Bunge has a 1-year low of $47.26 and a 1-year high of $59.65. The stock’s fifty day moving average is $55.80 and its two-hundred day moving average is $55.66.

Bunge (NYSE:BG) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, October 30th. The basic materials company reported $1.41 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.54 by $0.87. The company had revenue of $10.32 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $11.14 billion. Bunge had a positive return on equity of 9.31% and a negative net margin of 3.09%. Bunge’s revenue was down 9.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $2.52 earnings per share. As a group, sell-side analysts anticipate that Bunge will post 2.85 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, March 2nd. Stockholders of record on Monday, February 17th will be given a $0.50 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 13th. This represents a $2.00 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.54%. Bunge’s payout ratio is 73.53%.

In related news, insider Jerry Matthews Simmons, Jr. sold 1,786 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.65, for a total transaction of $97,604.90. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 11,323 shares in the company, valued at approximately $618,801.95. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. 3.18% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in BG. FNY Investment Advisers LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Bunge during the fourth quarter worth $28,000. Usca Ria LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Bunge during the third quarter worth $45,000. Penserra Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Bunge by 88.8% during the third quarter. Penserra Capital Management LLC now owns 906 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $50,000 after purchasing an additional 426 shares during the period. Cerebellum GP LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Bunge during the third quarter worth $129,000. Finally, HM Payson & Co. acquired a new stake in shares of Bunge during the second quarter worth $128,000. 78.46% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Bunge

Bunge Limited operates as an agribusiness and food company worldwide. It operates in five segments: Agribusiness, Edible Oil Products, Milling Products, Sugar and Bioenergy, and Fertilizer. The Agribusiness segment purchases, stores, transports, processes, and sells agricultural commodities and commodity products, including oilseeds primarily soybeans, rapeseed, canola, and sunflower seeds, as well as grains primarily wheat and corn; and vegetable oils and protein meals.

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