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Why Central Garden & Pet Co. (CENT) Stock Is Rising Today

Stocks in this article: CENT HRG

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Central Garden & Pet Co. (CENT) are up 10.42% to $8.66 in today's trading.

The company's board received a public letter from one of its largest shareholders, Harbinger Group (HRG), requesting either the potential sale of the entire company or the sale of a portion of CENT's assets.

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In the letter, Harbinger says the move would boost shareholder value for all CENT shareholders.

Harbinger is requesting the sale be made to itself or one or more of its affiliates.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates CENTRAL GARDEN & PET CO as a Hold with a ratings score of C. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate CENTRAL GARDEN & PET CO (CENT) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed, some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, disappointing return on equity and poor profit margins."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • CENT's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 1.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.7%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to -$90.05 million or 32.85% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 3.56%.
  • Even though the current debt-to-equity ratio is 1.13, it is still below the industry average, suggesting that this level of debt is acceptable within the Household Products industry. Despite the fact that CENT's debt-to-equity ratio is mixed in its results, the company's quick ratio of 1.59 is high and demonstrates strong liquidity.
  • The company's current return on equity has slightly decreased from the same quarter one year prior. This implies a minor weakness in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Household Products industry and the overall market, CENTRAL GARDEN & PET CO's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • The gross profit margin for CENTRAL GARDEN & PET CO is currently lower than what is desirable, coming in at 31.26%. It has decreased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 4.16% trails that of the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: CENT Ratings Report
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