International Paper (IP) Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research to Buy

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International Paper (NYSE:IP) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $46.00 price objective on the basic materials company’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target points to a potential upside of 11.76% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Backed by solid commercial performance and continued healthy demand across its businesses, International Paper is positioned to deliver improved results in the fourth quarter and 2019 as well. International Paper will benefit from its restructuring initiatives, and significant investments to improve its North American containerboard mill system and enhance product quality. The company expects the acquisition of Weyerhaeuser’s pulp business to strengthen its position in the global fluff pulp market and augment its operating cash flow. The company has a record of positive earnings surprises in the last few quarters. Its estimates have undergone positive revisions recently.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently weighed in on IP. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “buy” rating and set a $55.00 price objective on shares of International Paper in a research note on Tuesday, October 23rd. Citigroup cut their price objective on shares of International Paper from $67.00 to $51.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, October 11th. Argus cut their price objective on shares of International Paper from $70.00 to $55.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 29th. Deutsche Bank set a $55.00 price objective on shares of International Paper and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, October 29th. Finally, Stephens set a $57.00 price objective on shares of International Paper and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 11th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $57.71.

IP stock opened at $41.16 on Wednesday. The company has a current ratio of 1.59, a quick ratio of 1.13 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.52. The firm has a market capitalization of $16.75 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.79, a P/E/G ratio of 0.82 and a beta of 1.52. International Paper has a 1 year low of $39.60 and a 1 year high of $66.94.

International Paper (NYSE:IP) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The basic materials company reported $1.56 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.47 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $5.90 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.90 billion. International Paper had a return on equity of 29.75% and a net margin of 13.68%. As a group, analysts predict that International Paper will post 5.31 EPS for the current year.

International Paper declared that its board has initiated a share repurchase program on Tuesday, October 9th that permits the company to buyback $430.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization permits the basic materials company to repurchase up to 2.1% of its shares through open market purchases. Shares buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in IP. Conning Inc. grew its holdings in International Paper by 4,805.7% during the third quarter. Conning Inc. now owns 733,935 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $36,073,000 after acquiring an additional 718,974 shares during the period. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP grew its holdings in International Paper by 28.9% during the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,477,279 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $121,793,000 after acquiring an additional 555,339 shares during the period. Levin Capital Strategies L.P. increased its stake in International Paper by 25.9% in the 3rd quarter. Levin Capital Strategies L.P. now owns 2,351,655 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $115,584,000 after purchasing an additional 484,156 shares in the last quarter. LSV Asset Management increased its stake in International Paper by 10.3% in the 3rd quarter. LSV Asset Management now owns 4,723,998 shares of the basic materials company’s stock worth $232,184,000 after purchasing an additional 439,685 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Becker Capital Management Inc. purchased a new position in International Paper in the 3rd quarter worth about $19,717,000. 80.93% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About International Paper

International Paper Company operates as a paper and packaging company primarily in North America, Europe, Latin America, North Africa, India, and Russia. It operates through three segments: Industrial Packaging, Global Cellulose Fibers, and Printing Papers. The Industrial Packaging segment manufactures containerboards, including linerboard, medium, whitetop, recycled linerboard, recycled medium, and saturating kraft.

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