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Why Kraft Heinz Stock Dropped Another 5% Today

By Rich Smith – Aug 9, 2019 at 2:56PM

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File this story under: "When analysts attack."

What happened

Shares of packaged-foods giant Kraft Heinz (KHC -0.61%) got crushed on Thursday -- down as much as 14% at one point -- after the company reported a big 5% decline in first-half 2019 sales, and an even bigger 24% drop in earnings.

And on Friday, it's been more of the same for investors. Responding to a flurry of negative comments from Wall Street analysts, they sold off Kraft stock again today, and the shares were down 5.4% as of 2:25 p.m. EDT.

Sharks circling a businessman in a canoe

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

What exactly did analysts say about Kraft to spark the renewed bout of selling? According to StreetInsider.com, a total of three separate analysts began inveighing against it today.

Morgan Stanley sliced $3 off its price target on equal-weight-rated Kraft stock, saying it is worth only $32 a share. Swiss megabanker UBS soon followed suit with a target-price cut to $30. Granted, both these targets are actually above where shares trade right now. But the bad news wasn't over yet.

Analysts at Guggenheim also came out with a note today, cutting their price target to $25 a share -- and tagging Kraft with the dread sell rating.

Now what

As Guggenheim explained, its rating was about more than just one quarter's earnings miss. CEO Miguel Patricio "gave an honest assessment of the business he's inherited and must now fix," said the analyst. And it seems "the situation won't likely start to improve until next year at the earliest."

Apparently, few investors like the idea of waiting another six months to see whether things might just start to improve. Accordingly, most folk appear to be taking Guggenheim's advice: "It's too early to give the shares any credit." It seems like a case of sell now, and buy back once things have settled down a bit.

Rich Smith has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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