Kraft Heinz's (KHC -0.99%) condiments and other comestible items might be American favorites, but the company's stock hasn't seen much love in the recent past. It bucked this trend on Thursday, closing 3% higher to trounce the 0.6% slump of the S&P 500 index, thanks to several analyst price target raises.
Before market open, not one but two prognosticators got incrementally more bullish on Kraft Heinz stock. One was UBS's Cody Ross, who now feels the shares are worth $37 apiece; previously, he had them at $34. He maintained his neutral recommendation on the stock.
His peer Pamela Kaufman at Morgan Stanley made a similar move, adding $1 to her existing Kraft Heinz price target to place it at $38 per share. She's also keeping her equivalent of a neutral recommendation intact.
Both adjustments occurred in the wake of Kraft Heinz's third-quarter earnings release, which was published Wednesday morning.
For the period, the company's revenue rose by nearly 3% year over year to $6.5 billion, while its non-GAAP (adjusted) net income amounted to $784 million ($0.63 per share). This represented a double beat, as the average analyst estimates were $6.27 billion for revenue and $0.57 per share for adjusted net income.
Despite its being a solid and seemingly immovable holding in the portfolio of star investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, Kraft Heinz shares generally haven't performed well.
Aggressive cost-cutting significantly reduced innovation in a fast-changing comestibles market, making both the company and its stock a laggard. Those top- and bottom-line beats, while pleasing, won't provide a permanent lift to the company; it'll likely need to do more to prove to investors that it can be competitive going forward.