TreeHouse Foods shares sink after JPMorgan downgrade based on less-than-expected at-home dining benefit

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TreeHouse Foods Inc. stock fell 6.3% in Friday trading after the private-label food company was downgraded to neutral from overweight at JPMorgan. Analysts shaved $1 off of TreeHouse’s price target, bringing it to $46. “When we upgraded TreeHouse to overweight last March, we wrote that COVID-19 had ‘the potential…to be a meaningful short-term tailwind,'” analysts wrote. “Unfortunately (and still somewhat surprisingly to us), store brands have lost share in measured channels and the benefits of eating at home have not been substantial for the company.” The coronavirus pandemic has fueled an increase in at-home cooking and dining. In its most recent third-quarter earnings, TreeHouse reported sales of $1.046 billion down from $1.057 billion the year prior and below the FactSet consensus of $1.067 billion. “With vaccines being rolled out, incremental stimulus checks coming, cost inflation on the horizon, and the stock approaching our price target, we think now is an opportune time to become less constructive,” JPMorgan said. TreeHouse stock is down 13.5% over the past year while the S&P 500 index has gained 16.9% for the period.
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