Will This Coverage Initiation Affect International Paper (IP) Stock Today?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- BMO Capital initiated coverage on International Paper  (IP) with a "market perform" rating and a $51 price target.

The firm said the company faces headwinds in containerboard and white paper markets.

The stock closed at $49.06 on Wednesday.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates INTL PAPER CO as a "buy" with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate INTL PAPER CO (IP) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strongest point has been its expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

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

  • INTL PAPER CO's earnings per share declined by 26.9% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, INTL PAPER CO increased its bottom line by earning $3.01 versus $1.71 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($3.55 versus $3.01).
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 2.2%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 1.7%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • In its most recent trading session, IP has closed at a price level that was not very different from its closing price of one year earlier. This is probably due to its weak earnings growth as well as other mixed factors. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • The gross profit margin for INTL PAPER CO is rather low; currently it is at 21.11%. Regardless of IP's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 2.23% trails the industry average.
  • 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 Paper & Forest Products industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, INTL PAPER CO has outperformed in comparison with the industry average, but has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: IP Ratings Report

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