Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Thursday. Traders acquired 1,245 call options on the company. This represents an increase of 1,268% compared to the typical daily volume of 91 call options.

Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ SAFM) opened at $125.50 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $2,910.00, a PE ratio of 10.20 and a beta of 0.47. Sanderson Farms has a fifty-two week low of $87.54 and a fifty-two week high of $176.43.

Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, December 14th. The company reported $3.20 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $3.50 by ($0.30). The firm had revenue of $919.90 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $916.07 million. Sanderson Farms had a net margin of 8.34% and a return on equity of 20.97%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 16.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $3.36 earnings per share. equities analysts expect that Sanderson Farms will post 9.9 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, February 13th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, January 30th will be paid a $0.32 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, January 29th. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.02%. Sanderson Farms’s dividend payout ratio is currently 10.41%.

In other news, Director Jones Gail Pittman sold 260 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $140.92, for a total value of $36,639.20. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Insiders own 5.30% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. American Century Companies Inc. bought a new position in Sanderson Farms in the 4th quarter worth about $14,294,000. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado bought a new position in Sanderson Farms in the 4th quarter worth about $257,000. Aperio Group LLC grew its stake in Sanderson Farms by 334.9% in the 4th quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 99,580 shares of the company’s stock worth $13,820,000 after acquiring an additional 76,681 shares in the last quarter. Alambic Investment Management L.P. grew its stake in Sanderson Farms by 72.8% in the 4th quarter. Alambic Investment Management L.P. now owns 28,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,886,000 after acquiring an additional 11,800 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its stake in Sanderson Farms by 1.2% in the 4th quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 212,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $29,421,000 after acquiring an additional 2,458 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 99.88% of the company’s stock.

SAFM has been the topic of a number of research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Sanderson Farms from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, December 7th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating and issued a $150.00 target price on shares of Sanderson Farms in a report on Friday, October 13th. BidaskClub downgraded shares of Sanderson Farms from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, January 4th. Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on shares of Sanderson Farms in a report on Friday, November 3rd. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $140.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Barclays reiterated an “equal weight” rating and set a $150.00 price target (up from $136.00) on shares of Sanderson Farms in a report on Thursday, December 14th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, one has assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. Sanderson Farms presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $137.80.

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Sanderson Farms Company Profile

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.

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