Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Patterson Companies (NASDAQ:PDCO) from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a report published on Thursday, January 4th.

According to Zacks, “Patterson Companies has had an unfavorable run on the bourses in the last year, trading below the broader industry. However, we are upbeat about the company’s Animal Health segment, that has been performing well lately. Patterson Companies provides a wide range of consumable supplies, equipment, software and value-added services. The company’s broad spectrum of products cushions it against economic downturns in the MedTech space. We believe a diversified product portfolio, strong veterinary business prospects, accretive acquisitions and strategic partnerships are key growth catalysts. On the flipside, downbeat guidance indicates looming concerns ahead. Lackluster performance in the dental segment is another headwind. The recent decline in the segment is driven by decreased sales of CEREC and digital technology products. Management expects headwinds in the technology-based equipment business to persist through fiscal 2018.”

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Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Robert W. Baird reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $40.00 price target on shares of Patterson Companies in a research note on Wednesday, November 22nd. Morgan Stanley began coverage on shares of Patterson Companies in a research note on Thursday, September 21st. They issued an equal weight rating and a $42.00 price objective on the stock. Jefferies Group reissued a hold rating and issued a $37.00 price objective on shares of Patterson Companies in a research note on Thursday, November 23rd. Stifel Nicolaus raised shares of Patterson Companies from a sell rating to a hold rating and set a $34.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, November 15th. Finally, Deutsche Bank initiated coverage on shares of Patterson Companies in a research note on Friday, December 8th. They issued a hold rating and a $37.00 price objective on the stock. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $40.29.

Patterson Companies (NASDAQ:PDCO) opened at $37.76 on Thursday. The company has a market cap of $3,562.54, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.92, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.10 and a beta of 0.95. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73, a quick ratio of 1.10 and a current ratio of 1.94. Patterson Companies has a 12-month low of $32.07 and a 12-month high of $48.29.

Patterson Companies (NASDAQ:PDCO) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 21st. The company reported $0.51 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.54 by ($0.03). Patterson Companies had a return on equity of 15.19% and a net margin of 2.84%. The company had revenue of $1.39 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.42 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $0.56 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 2.3% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts expect that Patterson Companies will post 2.11 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, January 26th. Investors of record on Friday, January 12th were issued a $0.26 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, January 11th. This represents a $1.04 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.75%. Patterson Companies’s payout ratio is 62.28%.

In related news, insider Ann B. Gugino sold 750 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.38, for a total value of $27,285.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director John D. Buck purchased 2,834 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 24th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $34.93 per share, for a total transaction of $98,991.62. Following the acquisition, the director now directly owns 54,627 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,908,121.11. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Company insiders own 0.46% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Advisory Services Network LLC grew its position in Patterson Companies by 423.4% in the second quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 2,523 shares of the company’s stock valued at $118,000 after acquiring an additional 2,041 shares in the last quarter. Amica Retiree Medical Trust grew its position in shares of Patterson Companies by 433.8% during the third quarter. Amica Retiree Medical Trust now owns 2,989 shares of the company’s stock worth $116,000 after buying an additional 2,429 shares in the last quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia grew its position in shares of Patterson Companies by 15.9% during the second quarter. Commonwealth Bank of Australia now owns 3,027 shares of the company’s stock worth $140,000 after buying an additional 415 shares in the last quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. grew its position in shares of Patterson Companies by 4.4% during the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 3,576 shares of the company’s stock worth $168,000 after buying an additional 150 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Meag Munich Ergo Kapitalanlagegesellschaft MBH acquired a new stake in shares of Patterson Companies during the fourth quarter worth approximately $145,000. 93.48% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Patterson Companies

Patterson Companies, Inc is a value-added distributor focused on providing a customer experience to professionals in the dental and animal health markets. The Company operates through three segments: dental, animal health and corporate. Dental and Animal health are strategic business units that offer similar products and services to different customer bases.

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