ValuEngine downgraded shares of Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note published on Thursday.

Several other brokerages have also recently issued reports on SAFM. BidaskClub raised Sanderson Farms from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Saturday, February 17th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a hold rating and issued a $130.00 price objective on shares of Sanderson Farms in a research note on Friday, February 16th. Buckingham Research began coverage on Sanderson Farms in a research note on Wednesday, February 21st. They issued a neutral rating and a $122.00 price objective on the stock. Vertical Group raised Sanderson Farms from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, February 28th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reissued a hold rating and issued a $115.00 price objective (down previously from $140.00) on shares of Sanderson Farms in a research note on Tuesday, February 27th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $114.30.

Shares of Sanderson Farms opened at $97.71 on Thursday, Marketbeat reports. Sanderson Farms has a 52-week low of $96.94 and a 52-week high of $176.43. The company has a market capitalization of $2.28 billion, a P/E ratio of 7.94 and a beta of 0.49.

Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 24th. The company reported $1.84 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $2.51 by ($0.67). Sanderson Farms had a return on equity of 16.79% and a net margin of 8.20%. The firm had revenue of $813.50 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $839.64 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $2.94 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts expect that Sanderson Farms will post 8.82 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, May 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, May 1st were given a dividend of $0.32 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, April 30th. This represents a $1.28 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.31%. Sanderson Farms’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 10.41%.

Sanderson Farms announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, May 31st that authorizes the company to buyback 2,000,000 outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Allianz Asset Management GmbH boosted its position in Sanderson Farms by 6.4% during the 1st quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 417,085 shares of the company’s stock valued at $49,642,000 after acquiring an additional 24,990 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its position in Sanderson Farms by 4.1% during the 1st quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 103,465 shares of the company’s stock valued at $12,315,000 after acquiring an additional 4,081 shares in the last quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd bought a new stake in Sanderson Farms during the 1st quarter valued at $818,000. Royal Bank of Canada boosted its position in Sanderson Farms by 17.3% during the 1st quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 33,762 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,018,000 after acquiring an additional 4,980 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of Alberta as represented by Alberta Investment Management Corp boosted its position in Sanderson Farms by 55.4% during the 1st quarter. Her Majesty the Queen in Right of the Province of Alberta as represented by Alberta Investment Management Corp now owns 24,392 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,903,000 after acquiring an additional 8,700 shares in the last quarter.

About Sanderson Farms

Sanderson Farms, Inc, an integrated poultry processing company, produces, processes, markets, and distributes fresh, frozen, and prepared chicken products in the United States. 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 in the southeastern, southwestern, northeastern, and western United States, as well as to customers who resell frozen chicken in the export markets.

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Analyst Recommendations for Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM)