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Berry Global (BERY) Exhibits Strong Prospects, Risks Persist

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Berry Global Group, Inc. (BERY - Free Report) stands to benefit from strength in its consumer businesses across food and beverage end markets. Solid momentum across the company’s healthcare end market along with recovery in construction, food service, and industrial products end markets is also likely to drive its performance in the quarters ahead. For fiscal 2021 (ended September 2021, results are awaited), it anticipates overall organic sales to grow 5% year over year.

The company’s acquired business of RPC Group (July 2019) has enriched its growth opportunities in the plastic and recycled packaging industry. Its investments in the latest equipment technologies, advantaged film development, and design for circularity are likely to enhance its competency. Its focus on improving operational productivity and partnerships across the value chain is also likely to be beneficial.

Reduction of debt also remains one of its priorities. In the first three quarters of fiscal 2021 (ended Jul 3, 2021), the company repaid long-term debt of $3,287 million.

However, BERY has been experiencing escalating costs and expenses over time. Its cost of sales jumped 28.1% and 34.2% in fiscal 2020 (ended September 2020) and third-quarter fiscal 2021 (ended Jul 3, 2021), respectively. Also, in fiscal 2020 and third-quarter fiscal 2021, its selling, general and administrative expenses increased 45.8% and 4.5%, respectively.

Berry Global’s high-debt profile poses a concern. In the last five fiscal years (2016-2020), its long-term debt rose 12.2% (CAGR). Its long-term debt balance (including the current portion) remained high at $9,694 million exiting the third-quarter fiscal 2021. Any further increase in debt levels can raise the company’s financial obligations.

Zacks Investment ResearchImage Source: Zacks Investment Research

In the past three months, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has returned 5.9% compared with the industry’s growth of 2.8%.

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