Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE:HRL) shares gapped up before the market opened on Friday . The stock had previously closed at $36.58, but opened at $36.61. Hormel Foods Corp. shares last traded at $37.31, with a volume of 2,659,547 shares.

A number of research analysts recently weighed in on the company. Jefferies Group upped their price target on Hormel Foods Corp. from $34.00 to $38.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Hormel Foods Corp. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, May 6th. Vetr raised Hormel Foods Corp. from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $44.45 price target on the stock in a research note on Thursday, April 14th. Credit Agricole SA assumed coverage on Hormel Foods Corp. in a research note on Wednesday, April 13th. They set an “underperform” rating on the stock. Finally, BB&T Corp. downgraded Hormel Foods Corp. from a “hold” rating to an “underweight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 5th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, one has assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $39.83.

The company has a market capitalization of $19.79 billion and a PE ratio of 25.76. The company has a 50 day moving average of $35.91 and a 200 day moving average of $39.07.

Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE:HRL) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, May 18th. The company reported $0.40 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.39 by $0.01. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.34 EPS. The company earned $2.30 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.30 billion. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that Hormel Foods Corp. will post $1.59 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, August 15th. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 18th will be issued a $0.145 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, July 14th. This represents a $0.58 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.55%.

In other news, Director Dakota A. Pippins sold 5,000 shares of Hormel Foods Corp. stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.74, for a total value of $183,700.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 96,416 shares in the company, valued at $3,542,323.84. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link.

Several hedge funds have bought and sold shares of HRL. Advantus Capital Management Inc boosted its stake in Hormel Foods Corp. by 4.5% in the fourth quarter. Advantus Capital Management Inc now owns 13,084 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,035,000 after buying an additional 559 shares during the last quarter. GAM Holding AG boosted its stake in Hormel Foods Corp. by 25.8% in the fourth quarter. GAM Holding AG now owns 18,297 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,447,000 after buying an additional 3,753 shares during the last quarter. Stephens Inc. AR acquired a new stake in Hormel Foods Corp. during the fourth quarter valued at about $1,525,000. Advisors Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in Hormel Foods Corp. by 168.4% in the fourth quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 30,797 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,435,000 after buying an additional 19,322 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management CO. LTD. boosted its stake in Hormel Foods Corp. by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management CO. LTD. now owns 34,817 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,753,000 after buying an additional 110 shares during the last quarter.

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