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UPDATE: J.P. Morgan Reiterates Neutral Rating, Lowers PT on Sonoco Products Company

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In a report published Monday, J.P. Morgan & Co. reiterated its Neutral rating on Sonoco Products Company (NYSE: SON), but lowered its price target from $37.00 to $34.00.

J.P. Morgan noted, “Last week, we attended the SON analyst day in NYC. This event was the first opportunity for new CEO Jack Sanders to discuss his vision for the company, a key tenet of which will be a shift in focus to further grow the Plastic Packaging and Emerging Market platforms, while optimizing and harvesting the more mature businesses for cash flow. This growth appears likely to come from both organic growth and some bolt-on M&A in areas where the company may not have capabilities built out. Regarding its financial objectives, new guidance through 2015 was quite a bit lower than last year, primarily driven by a lower base of earnings in 2012 and caution around the macro environment. We think the new guidance looks more realistic, on which valuation is not expensive at a ~10% discount to the peer group. Further, the 4% dividend yield is attractive. However, we struggle to find catalysts outside of an improvement in the macro environment. SON does have more exposure to resi/non-resi construction than packaging peers, which could be beneficial, but these benefits have yet to show up in a material way thus far. We lower our estimates and Dec-13 PT to $34 (from $37) and remain Neutral.”

Sonoco Products Company closed on Friday at $29.76.

Posted-In: J.P. Morgan & Co.Analyst Color Price Target Analyst Ratings


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