Diageo (NYSE:DEO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday, January 4th. The firm presently has a $163.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 14.18% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Diageo have outperformed the industry in the past one year, driven by its strong fundamentals, continuous innovation and focus on expansion. Also, the company’s strategic endeavors including growth via acquisitions remain noteworthy. In fact, the buyout of the U.S. fastest-growing premium tequila brand, Casamigos, is expected to boost its market share in the category and is likely to capitalize on the company’s presence in the high-growth international markets.Notably, alcohol stocks are doing well backed by the rising demand for flavored whisky, premium tequilas and spirits. However, currency fluctuations pose a serious concern for the company. Macroeconomic factors such as interest rate hikes and increase in fuel and energy costs may also impact the company’s profitability.”

A number of other equities research analysts also recently commented on the stock. Berenberg Bank downgraded shares of Diageo from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 13th. Jefferies Group restated a “buy” rating and issued a $155.40 target price (up from $155.20) on shares of Diageo in a research note on Saturday, September 30th. Finally, Evercore ISI began coverage on shares of Diageo in a research report on Thursday, September 28th. They issued an “outperform” rating and a $152.00 price target for the company. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and six have given a buy rating to the company. Diageo presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $156.25.

Shares of Diageo (NYSE DEO) traded up $0.90 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $142.75. 177,694 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 427,891. Diageo has a fifty-two week low of $110.59 and a fifty-two week high of $147.62. The company has a current ratio of 1.31, a quick ratio of 0.63 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69. The company has a market capitalization of $88,900.00, a PE ratio of 19.94, a P/E/G ratio of 2.80 and a beta of 0.75.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of DEO. Bangor Savings Bank increased its stake in Diageo by 0.9% during the 2nd quarter. Bangor Savings Bank now owns 1,774 shares of the company’s stock valued at $212,000 after purchasing an additional 16 shares in the last quarter. M&R Capital Management Inc. increased its stake in shares of Diageo by 1.8% in the second quarter. M&R Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,112 shares of the company’s stock worth $273,000 after acquiring an additional 37 shares during the period. HPM Partners LLC increased its stake in shares of Diageo by 1.0% in the second quarter. HPM Partners LLC now owns 4,168 shares of the company’s stock worth $499,000 after acquiring an additional 42 shares during the period. Advisory Services Network LLC increased its stake in shares of Diageo by 1.9% in the second quarter. Advisory Services Network LLC now owns 3,279 shares of the company’s stock worth $393,000 after acquiring an additional 62 shares during the period. Finally, D.A. Davidson & CO. increased its stake in shares of Diageo by 0.4% in the second quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 21,962 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,631,000 after acquiring an additional 95 shares during the period. 12.03% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Diageo

Diageo PLC is an alcoholic beverage company. The Company operates in various categories, including spirits and beer. Its geographic segments include North America; Europe, Russia and Turkey; Africa; Latin America and Caribbean, and Asia Pacific. Its principal products includes Scotch whisky, Gin, Vodka, Rum, Beer, Irish Cream Liqueur, Wine, Raki, Tequila, Canadian Whisky, American Whiskey, Progressive Adult Beverages, Cachaca, Brandy and Ready to Drink.

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