Condiments maker H.J. Heinz Company ( HNZ ) on Friday received some positive commentary from analysts at Bank of America.
The firm maintained its "Neutral" rating on HNZ but lifted its price target from $58 to $59. That new target suggests a small upside to the stock's Wednesday closing price of $57.62.
A Bank of America analyst commented, "Key takeaways: 1) HNZ expects a significant ramp up in sales, particularly volumes, over F2H13 due to increased marketing and innovation." Continuing, "We are raising our F13 EPS estimate from $3.47 to $3.53, primarily due to a lower tax rate which is down from 22% to 20% ($0.09 p/s). We are lowering our operating profit forecast from $1.734bn to $1.713bn due to lower margins in NACP and Rest of World (ROW). We are forecasting 4.1% organic sales growth with a mix of 2.2% vol/mix and 1.9% pricing."
Heinz shares were mostly flat in premarket trading Friday. The stock has risen about 6.6% year-to-date.
The Bottom Line
We have been recommending shares of H.J. Heinz ( HNZ ) since Jan.24, 2009, when the stock was trading at $35.06. The company has a 3.58% dividend yield, based on Wednesday's closing stock price of $57.62.
H.J. Heinz Company ( HNZ ) is a "Recommended" dividend stock, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.6 out of 5 stars.
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