International Paper (IP) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of International Paper (NYSE:IP) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Tuesday morning. The brokerage currently has $50.00 price objective on the basic materials company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Backed by solid commercial performance and continued healthy demand across its businesses, International Paper is positioned to deliver improved results in the fourth quarter and 2019 as well. International Paper will benefit from its restructuring initiatives, and significant investments to improve its North American containerboard mill system and enhance product quality. The company expects the acquisition of Weyerhaeuser’s pulp business to strengthen its position in the global fluff pulp market and augment its operating cash flow. The company has a record of positive earnings surprises in the last few quarters.”

A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on IP. Citigroup lowered their price objective on shares of International Paper from $67.00 to $51.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, October 11th. Barclays lowered their price objective on shares of International Paper from $45.00 to $44.00 and set an underweight rating for the company in a research report on Monday, October 29th. Goldman Sachs Group downgraded shares of International Paper from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $53.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Wednesday, October 10th. Stephens set a $57.00 target price on shares of International Paper and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 11th. Finally, Seaport Global Securities began coverage on shares of International Paper in a research note on Tuesday, October 23rd. They set a neutral rating for the company. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $58.00.

Shares of NYSE:IP opened at $43.44 on Tuesday. The company has a quick ratio of 1.13, a current ratio of 1.59 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.52. International Paper has a fifty-two week low of $39.60 and a fifty-two week high of $66.94. The stock has a market cap of $17.45 billion, a P/E ratio of 12.45, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.85 and a beta of 1.52.

International Paper (NYSE:IP) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 25th. The basic materials company reported $1.56 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.47 by $0.09. International Paper had a net margin of 13.68% and a return on equity of 29.75%. The business had revenue of $5.90 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $5.90 billion. On average, equities analysts expect that International Paper will post 5.31 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 14th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 15th were paid a dividend of $0.50 per share. This represents a $2.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 4.60%. This is a positive change from International Paper’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, November 14th. International Paper’s payout ratio is presently 57.31%.

International Paper declared that its board has initiated a share repurchase plan on Tuesday, October 9th that permits the company to buyback $430.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the basic materials company to purchase up to 2.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, SVP John V. Sims sold 4,725 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $54.35, for a total value of $256,803.75. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, insider Jeanmichel Ribieras sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.20, for a total transaction of $542,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of IP. Acadian Asset Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of International Paper in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $238,000. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS acquired a new stake in shares of International Paper in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $2,678,000. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. lifted its stake in shares of International Paper by 4.7% in the 2nd quarter. Nomura Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 63,568 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $3,311,000 after acquiring an additional 2,833 shares during the period. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its stake in International Paper by 43.8% during the second quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 203,756 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $10,612,000 after purchasing an additional 62,050 shares during the last quarter. Finally, HL Financial Services LLC lifted its stake in International Paper by 36.5% during the second quarter. HL Financial Services LLC now owns 31,614 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $1,646,000 after purchasing an additional 8,449 shares during the last quarter. 81.00% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

International Paper Company Profile

International Paper Company operates as a paper and packaging company primarily in North America, Europe, Latin America, North Africa, India, and Russia. It operates through three segments: Industrial Packaging, Global Cellulose Fibers, and Printing Papers. The Industrial Packaging segment manufactures containerboards, including linerboard, medium, whitetop, recycled linerboard, recycled medium, and saturating kraft.

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