TreeHouse Foods Inc. (NYSE: THS): The Best-Of-Breed For Investing?

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    The Vanguard Group, Inc. recently announced the acquisition of new stake in TreeHouse Foods Inc. (NYSE:THS). The institutional investor has increased its shareholding in the Consumer Defensive company by 1.00% to 5.58 million shares with purchase of 55122.0 shares. This fresh investment now brings its stake to 9.88% valued currently at $293.93 million. In addition, Champlain Investment Partners LLC raised its holdings by 0.28 million to 3.98 million shares. And Dimensional Fund Advisors LP has lifted its position by 0.31% or 7637.0 shares – to 2.47 million shares.

    With over 0.9 million TreeHouse Foods Inc. (THS) shares trading Thursday and a closing price of $43.05 on the day, the dollar volume was approximately $38.81 million. The shares have shown a negative weekly performance of -0.25% and its price on 07/09/20 lost nearly -1.17%. Currently, there are 56.30M common shares owned by the public and among those 56.02M shares have been available to trade.

    An analysis of what Wall Street brokers have to say about the expected price targets for this stock gives us this picture: 12 analysts who have offered their price forecasts for THS have a consensus price objective of $57.73. The analysts have set the share’s price value over the next 12 months at a high of $68.00 and a low of $42.00 should the stock experience a downside. Incidentally, analysts’ outlook for the TreeHouse Foods Inc. stock is 1.90 for the next 12 months. The average price target is 25.78% above its last price level and an upside to the estimated low will see the stock lose -2.5% over that period. But an upside of 36.69% will see the stock hit the forecast high price target while mean target price for the stock is $57.00.

    Insiders at the company have transacted a total of 92 times over the past 12 months, according to data filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 47 of these insider trades were purchases, accounting for 172,078 shares. Insider sales of the common stock occurred on 45 occasions, with total insider shares sold totaling 118,156 shares.

    The top 3 mutual fund holders in TreeHouse Foods Inc. are T Rowe Price Mid Cap Growth Fund, Vanguard Total Stock Market Index, and iShares Core S&P Mid Cap ETF. T Rowe Price Mid Cap Growth Fund owns 3.5 million shares of the company’s stock, all valued at over $184.35 million. The company sold 2500.0 shares recently to bring their total holdings to about 6.20% of the shares outstanding. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index sold 16025.0 shares to see its total holdings shrink to 1.61 million shares valued at over $84.94 million and representing 2.86% of the shares outstanding. iShares Core S&P Mid Cap ETF bought 3200.0 shares to bring its total holdings to over 1.53 million shares at a value of $80.89 million. iShares Core S&P Mid Cap ETF now owns shares totaling to 2.72% of the shares outstanding.

    Shares of TreeHouse Foods Inc. (NYSE: THS) opened at $43.42, down -$0.14 from a prior closing price of $43.56. However, the script later closed the day at $43.05, down -1.17%. The company’s stock has a 5-day price change of -0.25% and -0.92% over the past three months. THS shares are trading -11.24% year to date (YTD), with the 12-month market performance down to -23.47% lower. It has a 12-month low price of $33.50 and touched a high of $60.38 over the same period. Currently, 0.9 million shares have been traded, compared to an average intraday trading volume of 686.92K shares. The stock is trading above its simple moving averages at the SMA20, SMA50, and SMA200, as the current price level is off by -5.44%, -12.26%, and -10.03% respectively.

    Institutional ownership of TreeHouse Foods Inc. (NYSE: THS) shares is 56.30M shares outstanding. Mutual fund holders own 43.06%, while other institutional holders and individual stakeholders account for 63.09% and 3.17% respectively.

    It has a market capitalization of $2.43B and a beta (3y monthly) value of 0.69. The stock’s earnings-per-share (ttm) stands at -$2.18. The company has a Quick Ratio of 1.00 with the debt-to-equity ratio at 1.23. Price movements for the stock have been influenced by the stock’s volatility, which stands at 2.06% over the week and 3.55% over the month.

    Analysts forecast that TreeHouse Foods Inc. (THS) will achieve an EPS of $0.47 for the current quarter, $0.64 for the next quarter and $2.78 for 2021. The lowest estimate earnings-per-share for the quarter is $0.42 while analysts give the company a high EPS estimate of $0.62. Comparatively, EPS for the current quarter was $0.4 a year ago. Earnings per share for the fiscal year are expected to decrease by -134.90%, and 7.12% over the next financial year. EPS should grow at an annualized rate of 6.75% over the next five years, compared to -23.70% over the past 5-year period.

    If you are looking to buy this stock, then you may note that the average analyst recommendation by 12 brokerage firm advisors rate TreeHouse Foods Inc. (THS) as a “Strong Buy” at a consensus score of 1.90. Specifically, 10 Wall Street analysts polled rate the stock as a buy, while 2 of the 12 advise that investors “hold,” and 0 rated it as a “Sell.”

    Looking at the support for the THS, a number of firms have released research notes about the stock. DA Davidson stated their Buy rating for the stock in a research note on May 28, 2020, with the firm’s price target at $62. Credit Suisse coverage for the TreeHouse Foods Inc. (THS) stock in a research note released on April 16, 2020 offered a Outperform rating with a price target of $60. BofA/Merrill was of a view on March 19, 2020 that the stock is Buy, while JP Morgan gave the stock Overweight rating on March 11, 2020 $45. Jefferies on their part issued Hold rating on January 23, 2020.

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