Shares of Sanderson Farms Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM) saw strong trading volume on Thursday . 259,442 shares changed hands during mid-day trading, a decline of 3% from the previous session’s volume of 266,750 shares.The stock last traded at $93.06 and had previously closed at $91.80.

Several analysts recently issued reports on the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Sanderson Farms from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, July 28th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut Sanderson Farms from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered 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. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, one has issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $81.71.

The stock’s 50-day moving average is $88.39 and its 200 day moving average is $87.93. The stock has a market cap of $2.11 billion and a P/E ratio of 15.36.

Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 26th. The company reported $2.11 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.62 by $0.49. The firm had revenue of $692.10 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $671.61 million. The company’s revenue was down 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $3.13 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts predict that Sanderson Farms Inc. will post $7.12 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 23rd. Investors of record on Tuesday, August 9th will be paid a dividend of $0.22 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, August 5th. This represents a $0.88 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.94%.

Other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. US Bancorp DE raised its position in shares of Sanderson Farms by 95.1% in the fourth quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 14,376 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,115,000 after buying an additional 7,006 shares in the last quarter. Comerica Bank raised its position in shares of Sanderson Farms by 2.0% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 17,106 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,283,000 after buying an additional 333 shares in the last quarter. Finally, New York State Common Retirement Fund raised its position in shares of Sanderson Farms by 19.2% in the fourth quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 60,570 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,695,000 after buying an additional 9,772 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.

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