Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Sensient Technologies (NYSE:SXT) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Friday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Sensient Technologies Corporation is a leading global manufacturer and marketer of colors, flavors and fragrances. Sensient employ advanced technologies to develop specialty food and beverage systems, cosmetic ingredients, pharmaceutical excipients, inkjet and specialty inks and colors, and other specialty and fine chemicals. Sensient uses advanced proprietary technologies to produce a broad range of innovative products. Sensient is a global developer, manufacturer and supplier of flavor and fragrance systems for the food, beverage, personal care and household-products industries. Sensient is a developer, manufacturer and supplier of colors for businesses worldwide. Sensient provides natural and synthetic color systems for use in foods, beverages and pharmaceuticals; colors and other ingredients for cosmetics, such as active ingredients, solubilizers and surface treated pigments; pharmaceutical excipients, such as colors, flavors and coatings; specialty inks; and technical colors for industrial applications. “

Separately, TheStreet upgraded shares of Sensient Technologies from a c+ rating to a b- rating in a report on Tuesday, June 18th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, one has given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Sensient Technologies currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $75.00.

Shares of Sensient Technologies stock traded up $0.59 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $69.79. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 189,606 shares, compared to its average volume of 265,978. The business’s 50 day simple moving average is $72.51. Sensient Technologies has a one year low of $51.93 and a one year high of $78.40. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.73, a quick ratio of 1.80 and a current ratio of 4.17. The stock has a market cap of $2.95 billion, a PE ratio of 19.66 and a beta of 1.04.

Sensient Technologies (NYSE:SXT) last posted its earnings results on Friday, July 19th. The specialty chemicals company reported $0.81 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.82 by ($0.01). Sensient Technologies had a return on equity of 16.15% and a net margin of 10.87%. The business had revenue of $339.20 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $361.20 million. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.92 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 6.6% on a year-over-year basis. Research analysts anticipate that Sensient Technologies will post 3.2 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, September 3rd. Investors of record on Friday, August 2nd will be paid a dividend of $0.36 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 1st. This represents a $1.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.06%. Sensient Technologies’s dividend payout ratio is presently 40.56%.

In related news, VP Thierry Hoang sold 357 shares of Sensient Technologies stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $72.37, for a total transaction of $25,836.09. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 0.75% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Quadrant Capital Group LLC purchased a new position in shares of Sensient Technologies during the 1st quarter worth about $61,000. Ellis Investment Partners LLC purchased a new stake in Sensient Technologies in the 1st quarter valued at about $75,000. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. purchased a new stake in Sensient Technologies in the 4th quarter valued at about $168,000. Advisor Group Inc. boosted its position in Sensient Technologies by 16.8% in the 4th quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 3,159 shares of the specialty chemicals company’s stock valued at $176,000 after buying an additional 455 shares during the period. Finally, Wellington Shields & Co. LLC purchased a new stake in Sensient Technologies in the 1st quarter valued at about $203,000. 99.30% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Sensient Technologies

Sensient Technologies Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, develops, manufactures, and markets colors, flavors, and fragrances in North America, Europe, the Asia Pacific, and internationally. It operates through three segments: Flavors & Fragrances Group, Color Group, and Asia Pacific Group.

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