Shares of Sanderson Farms Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM) traded up 1.7% during mid-day trading on Tuesday . The company traded as high as $86.23 and last traded at $86.06, with a volume of 580,015 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $84.64.

A number of analysts recently issued reports on the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut Sanderson Farms from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and decreased their target price for the company from $96.00 to $95.00 in a research report on Friday, May 27th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Zacks Investment Research cut Sanderson Farms from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 3rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. Sanderson Farms presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $81.71.

The company has a market cap of $1.94 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.17. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $84.80 and its 200-day moving average price is $86.22.

Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, May 26th. The company reported $2.11 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.62 by $0.49. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $3.13 EPS. The company earned $692.10 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $671.61 million. Sanderson Farms’s quarterly revenue was down 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Sanderson Farms Inc. will post $6.73 EPS for the current year.

Other hedge funds and institutional investors have modified their holdings of the company. Bank of Montreal Can increased its position in shares of Sanderson Farms by 42.4% in the fourth quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 387,238 shares of the company’s stock worth $30,020,000 after buying an additional 115,231 shares in the last quarter. TrimTabs Asset Management LLC acquired a new position in shares of Sanderson Farms during the fourth quarter worth approximately $2,480,000. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its position in shares of Sanderson Farms by 44.7% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 94,169 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,300,000 after buying an additional 29,085 shares in the last quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. acquired a new position in shares of Sanderson Farms during the fourth quarter worth approximately $1,887,000. Finally, Bragg Financial Advisors Inc increased its position in shares of Sanderson Farms by 452.6% in the fourth quarter. Bragg Financial Advisors Inc now owns 29,407 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,280,000 after buying an additional 24,085 shares in the last quarter.

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.

Get Analysts' Upgrades and Downgrades Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of analysts' upgrades, downgrades and new coverage with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.