Central Garden & Pet Co. (CENT) Stock Price Up -0.4%

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Central Garden & Pet Co. (NASDAQ:CENT) rose 0.4% during trading on Tuesday . The stock traded as high as $24.07 and last traded at $23.82, with a volume of 107,744 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $23.92.
CENT has been the topic of several research analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research lowered Central Garden & Pet Co. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 5th. SunTrust Banks Inc. upgraded Central Garden & Pet Co. from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, June 16th. Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. reiterated a “market perform” rating on shares of Central Garden & Pet Co. in a report on Friday, August 26th. Finally, Sidoti initiated coverage on Central Garden & Pet Co. in a report on Wednesday, August 17th. They issued a “neutral” rating on the stock. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, one has given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Central Garden & Pet Co. presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $22.50.
The stock has a market cap of $1.22 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.33 and a beta of 0.75. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $25.74 and a 200 day moving average of $20.32.

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Central Garden & Pet Co. (NASDAQ:CENT) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, August 2nd. The company reported $0.48 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.43 by $0.05. Central Garden & Pet Co. had a return on equity of 11.04% and a net margin of 2.54%. The firm earned $514.54 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $490.85 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.38 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 12.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts expect that Central Garden & Pet Co. will post $1.17 EPS for the current year.
In other news, major shareholder William E. Brown sold 149,054 shares of Central Garden & Pet Co. stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $20.59, for a total value of $3,069,021.86. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 2,512,251 shares in the company, valued at $51,727,248.09. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director John Ranelli sold 7,886 shares of Central Garden & Pet Co. stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $22.77, for a total value of $179,564.22. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 96,379 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,194,549.83. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 13.90% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Prudential Financial Inc. increased its position in Central Garden & Pet Co. by 3.2% in the first quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 22,700 shares of the company’s stock valued at $371,000 after buying an additional 700 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Group LTD increased its position in Central Garden & Pet Co. by 162.3% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 69,601 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,137,000 after buying an additional 43,065 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors increased its position in Central Garden & Pet Co. by 3.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 396,744 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,483,000 after buying an additional 13,890 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. increased its position in Central Garden & Pet Co. by 8.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 34,715 shares of the company’s stock valued at $567,000 after buying an additional 2,583 shares in the last quarter. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased its position in Central Garden & Pet Co. by 232.0% in the first quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 11,629 shares of the company’s stock valued at $190,000 after buying an additional 8,126 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 19.02% of the company’s stock.
About Central Garden & Pet Co.
Central Garden & Pet Company is a marketer and producer of branded products, and distributor of third party products to pet, and lawn and garden supplies industries. The Company’s segments are Pet and Garden. Its Pet segment is engaged in the manufacturing, purchase, sale and delivery of internally and externally produced pet supplies, books and food to independent pet distributors, national and regional retail chains, grocery stores, mass merchants and bookstores.

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