Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Tuesday. They currently have $164.00 target price on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Snderson Farms Inc. is a fully-integrated poultry processing company engaged in the production, processing, marketing and distribution of fresh and frozen chicken products. The company sells ice pack, chill pack and frozen chicken, in whole, cut-up and boneless form, primarily under the Sanderson Farms7 brand name to retailers, distributors, and fast food operators principally in the southeastern, southwestern and western United States. “

Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the company. J P Morgan Chase & Co reaffirmed a neutral rating and issued a $129.00 price objective (up from $112.00) on shares of Sanderson Farms in a research note on Thursday, August 24th. BidaskClub downgraded Sanderson Farms from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. Barclays PLC set a $136.00 price target on Sanderson Farms and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Friday, August 25th. Stephens reissued an equal weight rating and set a $170.00 price target (up previously from $145.00) on shares of Sanderson Farms in a research report on Monday, September 25th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Sanderson Farms from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, five have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Sanderson Farms presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $131.27.

Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 24th. The company reported $5.09 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $3.47 by $1.62. Sanderson Farms had a return on equity of 22.21% and a net margin of 8.77%. The firm had revenue of $931.90 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $921.40 million. During the same period last year, the business posted $2.42 EPS. Sanderson Farms’s quarterly revenue was up 28.0% on a year-over-year basis.

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The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, October 17th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, October 3rd were given a $0.32 dividend. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.88%. This is an increase from Sanderson Farms’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.24. The ex-dividend date was Monday, October 2nd. Sanderson Farms’s dividend payout ratio is 10.31%.

In other Sanderson Farms news, Director Fred L. Banks, Jr. sold 3,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $144.11, for a total transaction of $432,330.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 24,948 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,595,256.28. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director John Bierbusse sold 625 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, August 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $138.03, for a total transaction of $86,268.75. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 14,776 shares in the company, valued at $2,039,531.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 5,400 shares of company stock worth $771,199 in the last ninety days. 5.66% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in SAFM. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Sanderson Farms by 38,073.7% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 2,700,788 shares of the company’s stock valued at $280,451,000 after purchasing an additional 2,693,713 shares during the period. Koch Industries Inc. acquired a new stake in Sanderson Farms during the 2nd quarter valued at $309,000. Origin Asset Management LLP acquired a new stake in Sanderson Farms during the 2nd quarter valued at $32,665,000. Alliancebernstein L.P. raised its stake in Sanderson Farms by 603.4% during the 2nd quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 270,004 shares of the company’s stock valued at $31,226,000 after purchasing an additional 231,621 shares during the period. Finally, Vanguard Group Inc. raised its stake in Sanderson Farms by 7.3% during the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 1,804,867 shares of the company’s stock valued at $187,418,000 after purchasing an additional 122,658 shares during the period. 99.88% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Sanderson Farms

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 also preparation, processing, marketing and distribution of processed and minimally prepared chicken. It sells ice pack, chill pack, bulk pack and frozen chicken, in whole, cut-up and boneless form, under the Sanderson Farms brand name to retailers, distributors, casual dining operators, customers reselling frozen chicken into export markets.

Analyst Recommendations for Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM)

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