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Sonoco Products Inc (NYSE:SON) Short Interest Down 20.0% in December

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Sonoco Products (NYSE:SON – Get Rating) saw a significant drop in short-term interest in the month of December. As of December 15, there was short interest totaling 1,000,000 shares, down 20.0% from the November 30 total of 1,250,000 shares. Currently, 1.0% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 506,600 shares, the day-to-cover ratio is currently 2.0 days.

Insider activity

In other Sonoco Products news, insider Ernest D. Haynes III sold 652 shares in a trade on Tuesday, November 15. The shares were sold at an average price of $58.60, for a total value of $38,207.20. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, accessible via the SEC’s website. 0.47% of the shares are held by insiders of the company.

Institutional trading of Sonoco products

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently changed their stock holdings. Walleye Capital LLC acquired a new stake in Sonoco Products stock in Q2 worth $456,000. Martingale Asset Management LP acquired a new stake in Sonoco Products stock in Q1 worth $233,000. Resources Investment Advisors LLC. increased its stake in shares of Sonoco Products by 10.2% in the 2nd quarter. Resources Investment Advisors LLC. now owns 4,677 shares of the industrial products company valued at $267,000 after purchasing an additional 431 shares during the period. Sei Investments Co. increased its stake in shares of Sonoco Products by 7.0% in Q2. Sei Investments Co. now owns 579,464 shares of the industrial products company valued at $33,085,000 after purchasing an additional 37,900 shares during the period. Finally, OLD Mission Capital LLC acquired a new equity stake in Sonoco Products in Q2 valued at $1,186,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds hold 76.43% of the company’s shares.

Analysts set new price targets

A number of analysts have commented on the company. Citigroup reduced its price target on Sonoco products from $73.00 to $72.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a Tuesday, October 11 research report. Bank of America downgraded Sonoco Products shares from an “underperforming” rating to a “buy” rating and set a price target of $76.00 on the stock in a Thursday, October 13 report. Wells Fargo & Company cut its price target on Sonoco Products stock from $67.00 to $64.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a Wednesday, Nov. 2, report. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft lowered its price target on Sonoco Products shares from $65.00 to $61.00 in a Wednesday, November 2 research note. Finally, StockNews.com upgraded Sonoco Products shares from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a Wednesday, Dec. 21 research note. One research analyst rated the stock with a sell rating, three issued a hold rating and three issued a buy rating for the company’s stock. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $65.17.

Sonoco Product Price Performance

Sonoco Products stock traded down $0.27 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $60.37. 2,504 shares were traded, against an average volume of 384,088. Sonoco Products has a 12-month low of $51.52 and a 12-month high of $67.06. The company’s 50-day moving average is $60.19 and its two-hundred-day moving average is $60.21. The company has a debt ratio of 1.41, a quick ratio of 0.79 and a current ratio of 1.37. The stock has a market capitalization of $5.89 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.78, a P/E/G ratio of 1.85 and a beta of 0.74.

Sonoco Products (NYSE:SON – Get Rating) last released quarterly earnings data on Monday, October 31. The industrial products company reported earnings per share (EPS) of $1.60 for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.43 by $0.17. Sonoco Products had a return on equity of 31.56% and a net margin of 6.19%. The company posted revenue of $1.89 billion in the quarter, versus a consensus estimate of $1.90 billion. In the same quarter a year earlier, the company posted EPS of $0.91. The company’s revenue for the quarter increased by 33.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Equity research analysts expect Sonoco Products to post EPS of 6.47 for the current fiscal year.

Sonoco Products Dividend Announcement

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 9. Shareholders of record on Thursday, November 10 received a dividend of $0.49 per share. The ex-dividend date was Wednesday, November 9. This represents a dividend of $1.96 on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.25%. Sonoco Products’ payout ratio is 44.55%.

About Sonoco Products

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Sonoco Products Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells industrial and consumer packaging products in North and South America, Europe, Australia and Asia. The Company operates through two segments: Consumer Packaging and Industrial Paper Packaging. The round and shaped rigid paper containers of the consumer packaging industry; metallic and peelable membrane ends and closures; thermoformed plastic trays and containers; printed flexible packaging; and overall brand artwork management.

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