Sanderson Farms Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM) shares rose 3.6% during trading on Wednesday . The company traded as high as $88.21 and last traded at $87.81, with a volume of 192,544 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $84.79.

SAFM has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Sanderson Farms from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $102.00 price target for the company in a report on Thursday, March 10th. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. downgraded shares of Sanderson Farms from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $75.00 price target for the company. in a report on Tuesday, March 15th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded shares of Sanderson Farms from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered their price target for the company from $96.00 to $95.00 in a report on Friday, May 27th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the stock. Sanderson Farms presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $81.71.

The company has a 50-day moving average price of $85.10 and a 200 day moving average price of $85.75. The company has a market cap of $2.02 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.697.

Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) last released its earnings results on Thursday, May 26th. The company reported $2.11 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.62 by $0.49. The company had revenue of $692.10 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $671.61 million. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $3.13 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Sanderson Farms Inc. will post $6.55 EPS for the current year.

A number of institutional investors have bought and sold shares of the company. Matarin Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Sanderson Farms during the fourth quarter worth $1,049,000. US Bancorp DE raised its position in Sanderson Farms by 95.1% in the fourth quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 14,376 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,115,000 after buying an additional 7,006 shares during the last quarter. Comerica Bank raised its position in Sanderson Farms by 2.0% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 17,106 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,283,000 after buying an additional 333 shares during the last quarter. Burney Co. raised its position in Sanderson Farms by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Burney Co. now owns 16,656 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,351,000 after buying an additional 83 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Quantitative Investment Management LLC acquired a new position in Sanderson Farms during the fourth quarter worth $1,379,000.

Sanderson Farms, Inc is a poultry processing company. The Company is engaged in the production, processing, marketing and distribution of fresh and frozen chicken, and the preparation, processing, marketing and distribution of processed and prepared chicken items. The Company sells ice pack, chill pack, bulk pack and frozen chicken, in whole, cut-up and boneless form, primarily under the Sanderson Farms brand name to retailers, distributors and casual dining operators principally in the southeastern, southwestern, northeastern and western United States, and to customers reselling frozen chicken into export markets.

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