Zacks Investment Research Downgrades Domtar (UFS) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Domtar (NYSE:UFS) (TSE:UFS) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Saturday morning, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “Domtar expects higher paper shipments in response to elevated demand in 2019. Management anticipates a positive momentum in the paper and pulp markets, driven by healthy demand and strong fundamentals across its portfolio. Domtar will benefit from the margin-improvement plan and new customer wins within the Personal Care Division in the current year. Moreover, the company remains well poised to benefit from its focus on balanced capital-deployment approach. The stock has outperformed the industry it belongs to, over the past year. However, Domtar's performance will be hurt by rising raw material prices, competitive pressure and unfavorable foreign currency movements.”

A number of other brokerages have also weighed in on UFS. UFS restated a sell rating on shares of Domtar in a report on Thursday, February 21st. TheStreet upgraded shares of Domtar from a c rating to a b rating in a report on Wednesday, February 6th. Raymond James restated a market perform rating and issued a $52.00 price objective on shares of Domtar in a report on Wednesday, February 6th. TD Securities boosted their price objective on shares of Domtar from $45.00 to $51.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, February 6th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada lowered shares of Domtar from an outperform rating to a sector perform rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $50.00 to $55.00 in a report on Wednesday, February 6th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. Domtar currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $49.25.

UFS stock opened at $48.56 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.34, a current ratio of 2.03 and a quick ratio of 1.06. Domtar has a one year low of $33.81 and a one year high of $54.50. The company has a market capitalization of $3.12 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.53, a P/E/G ratio of 1.84 and a beta of 2.01.

Domtar (NYSE:UFS) (TSE:UFS) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, February 5th. The basic materials company reported $1.63 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.62 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $1.39 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.44 billion. Domtar had a net margin of 5.19% and a return on equity of 11.59%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 4.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.64 EPS. As a group, equities research analysts forecast that Domtar will post 5.37 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, April 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, April 2nd were issued a dividend of $0.435 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, April 1st. This represents a $1.74 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.58%. Domtar’s dividend payout ratio is currently 37.74%.

In related news, SVP Zygmunt Jablonski sold 2,864 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.17, for a total transaction of $149,414.88. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 20,128 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,050,077.76. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, VP Daniel Buron sold 13,591 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $53.42, for a total transaction of $726,031.22. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 4,982 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $266,138.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 148,129 shares of company stock valued at $7,765,651 over the last quarter. 0.95% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Brandywine Global Investment Management LLC raised its holdings in Domtar by 4.4% during the 4th quarter. Brandywine Global Investment Management LLC now owns 218,947 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $7,692,000 after buying an additional 9,232 shares during the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. raised its holdings in Domtar by 5,973.2% during the 4th quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 795,532 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $27,947,000 after buying an additional 782,433 shares during the last quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama raised its holdings in Domtar by 0.3% during the 4th quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 81,556 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $2,865,000 after buying an additional 277 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its holdings in Domtar by 4.2% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 6,430,521 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $335,480,000 after buying an additional 257,488 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Federated Investors Inc. PA raised its holdings in Domtar by 5.2% during the 3rd quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 202,562 shares of the basic materials company’s stock valued at $10,568,000 after buying an additional 10,086 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 92.96% of the company’s stock.

About Domtar

Domtar Corporation designs, manufactures, markets, and distributes various communication papers, specialty and packaging papers, and absorbent hygiene products in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, and internationally. It operates in two segments, Pulp and Paper, and Personal Care. The company offers business papers, including copy and electronic imaging papers for use with inkjet and laser printers, photocopiers, and plain-paper fax machines, as well as computer papers, preprinted forms, and digital papers for office and home use.

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