SkinnyPop Maker's Stock Surges After Analyst Upgrade

Shares of Amplify Snack Brands Inc. , which makes SkinnyPop popcorn, ran up 4% in midday trade Monday, after the better-for-you snack company was upgraded at Credit Suisse. Analyst Robert Moskow raised his rating to outperform, after initiating coverage of the company at neutral on Aug. 31. The company went public on Aug. 5, at an initial-public-offering price of $18 a share. He boosted his stock price target to $16, which is 24% above current levels, but 11% below the IPO price, from $13. Moskow said he believes there are a number of reasons for potential upside to forward estimates, such as expanding internationally ahead of schedule, the possibility for acquisitions sooner than expected and the likelihood that sales of Paqui chips come in well above expectations. "Amplify has a short track record and a heavy reliance on just one brand, but it is growing at a far faster rate than its food peers," Moskow wrote in a note to clients. "We think there is upside to the valuation multiple once the company demonstrates its ability to integrate acquisitions and expand internationally." On Thursday, Amplify reported third-quarter earnings and revenue that beat analyst estimates, according to FactSet. The stock has soared 27% since Sept. 29 closing low of $10.14, which was 44% below its IPO price.

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