ConAgra Foods Inc. (CAG) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research
ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE:CAG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Wednesday. The brokerage currently has a $53.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s target price suggests a potential upside of 11.60% from the stock’s previous close.
According to Zacks, “ConAgra's first-quarter fiscal 2017 earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 21.7% and the year-ago tally by 48.8%. The remarkable improvement was witnessed on the back of meaningful restructuring initiatives. ConAgra is currently undergoing rigorous structural changes by divesting its less profitable businesses and acquiring new brands, for boosting revenues and margins. In sync with this strategy, the company intends to complete the divestiture of its Lamb Weston business by the fall of fiscal 2017. Henceforth, this will result in the formation of two separate pure play public companies – ConAgra Brands and Lamb Weston.”
A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on the stock. Credit Suisse Group AG set a $50.00 price objective on shares of ConAgra Foods and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday. TheStreet upgraded shares of ConAgra Foods from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 29th. Citigroup Inc. boosted their target price on shares of ConAgra Foods from $50.00 to $51.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, September 30th. Deutsche Bank AG decreased their target price on shares of ConAgra Foods from $48.00 to $46.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, September 23rd. Finally, Bank of America Corp. reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $52.00 target price on shares of ConAgra Foods in a research note on Monday, September 19th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. ConAgra Foods has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $50.20.
Shares of ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG) opened at 47.49 on Wednesday. ConAgra Foods has a 1-year low of $37.97 and a 1-year high of $48.81. The company has a market capitalization of $20.85 billion, a P/E ratio of 31.79 and a beta of 0.34. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $45.24 and a 200 day moving average price of $45.87.
ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, September 29th. The company reported $0.61 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.48 by $0.13. ConAgra Foods had a net margin of 5.76% and a return on equity of 28.48%. The company earned $2.67 billion during the quarter. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.41 earnings per share. ConAgra Foods’s revenue was down 4.6% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that ConAgra Foods will post $2.45 EPS for the current year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 30th. Investors of record on Monday, October 31st will be issued a $0.25 dividend. This represents a $1.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.11%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, October 27th. ConAgra Foods’s dividend payout ratio is currently 66.67%.
In other ConAgra Foods news, Director Stephen G. Butler sold 4,607 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, July 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.10, for a total transaction of $221,596.70. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 89,850 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,321,785. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, Director William G. Jurgensen sold 4,636 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.88, for a total transaction of $221,971.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.58% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.
Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in CAG. AXA increased its position in ConAgra Foods by 81.4% in the first quarter. AXA now owns 148,600 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,631,000 after buying an additional 66,700 shares during the period. Quadrature Capital Ltd increased its position in ConAgra Foods by 614.3% in the first quarter. Quadrature Capital Ltd now owns 92,237 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,116,000 after buying an additional 79,324 shares during the period. Scotia Capital Inc. increased its position in ConAgra Foods by 45.8% in the first quarter. Scotia Capital Inc. now owns 65,877 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,943,000 after buying an additional 20,696 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its position in ConAgra Foods by 3.2% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 22,191,654 shares of the company’s stock valued at $990,189,000 after buying an additional 686,101 shares during the period. Finally, BB&T Securities LLC increased its position in ConAgra Foods by 25.0% in the first quarter. BB&T Securities LLC now owns 56,305 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,512,000 after buying an additional 11,271 shares during the period. 75.33% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
ConAgra Foods Company Profile
ConAgra Foods, Inc operates as a packaged food company. The Company sells branded, private branded and customized food products, as well as commercially branded foods and ingredients. It also supplies frozen potato and sweet potato products, as well as other vegetable, spice and grain products to a range of restaurants, foodservice operators and commercial customers.
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