Pinnacle Foods Inc. (NYSE:PF) shot up 1.4% during mid-day trading on Wednesday . The company traded as high as $48.53 and last traded at $48.47, with a volume of 525,971 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $47.79.

Several equities research analysts recently weighed in on the stock. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “” rating and set a $56.00 price target (up previously from $50.00) on shares of Pinnacle Foods in a research note on Thursday. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. upgraded shares of Pinnacle Foods from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $48.00 to $57.00 in a research note on Tuesday. Bank of America Corp. reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Pinnacle Foods in a research note on Tuesday, May 24th. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Pinnacle Foods from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, April 27th. Finally, DA Davidson reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Pinnacle Foods in a research note on Thursday, March 24th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, five have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Pinnacle Foods presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $50.00.

The stock has a market capitalization of $5.65 billion and a PE ratio of 28.96. The company has a 50-day moving average of $44.53 and a 200-day moving average of $43.55.

Pinnacle Foods (NYSE:PF) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 28th. The company reported $0.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the consensus estimate of $0.40. The company earned $754.30 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $771.50 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.39 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 13.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that Pinnacle Foods Inc. will post $2.11 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, July 8th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, June 7th were issued a dividend of $0.255 per share. This represents a $1.02 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.10%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, June 3rd.

In related news, EVP Michael Kelley Maggs sold 5,000 shares of Pinnacle Foods stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $44.00, for a total transaction of $220,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 75,951 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,341,844. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO Craig D. Steeneck sold 20,683 shares of Pinnacle Foods stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, June 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $43.58, for a total transaction of $901,365.14. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 177,014 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,714,270.12. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several institutional investors recently made changes to their positions in PF. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP increased its position in shares of Pinnacle Foods by 10.7% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 2,787,059 shares of the company’s stock worth $118,343,000 after buying an additional 270,038 shares in the last quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. increased its position in shares of Pinnacle Foods by 57.6% in the fourth quarter. OppenheimerFunds Inc. now owns 1,884,482 shares of the company’s stock worth $80,015,000 after buying an additional 688,689 shares in the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its position in shares of Pinnacle Foods by 19.2% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 1,262,146 shares of the company’s stock worth $53,592,000 after buying an additional 202,961 shares in the last quarter. UBS Oconnor LLC increased its position in shares of Pinnacle Foods by 89.1% in the fourth quarter. UBS Oconnor LLC now owns 1,019,364 shares of the company’s stock worth $43,282,000 after buying an additional 480,413 shares in the last quarter. Finally, WBI Investments Inc. bought a new position in shares of Pinnacle Foods during the fourth quarter worth $18,917,000.

Pinnacle Foods Inc is a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of branded food products in North America. The Company operates through three segments: the Birds Eye Frozen segment, the Duncan Hines Grocery segment and the Specialty Foods segment. The Birds Eye Frozen segment manages its brands in the United States retail frozen vegetables (Birds Eye), frozen complete bagged meals (Birds Eye Voila!), and frozen seafood (Van de Kamp’s and Mrs.

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