Piper Jaffray Companies began coverage on shares of Hormel Foods (NYSE:HRL) in a report released on Thursday, Marketbeat Ratings reports. The firm issued an overweight rating and a $42.00 target price on the stock.

Several other brokerages have also commented on HRL. Morgan Stanley started coverage on Hormel Foods in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. They issued an underweight rating and a $26.00 target price for the company. Barclays set a $40.00 target price on Hormel Foods and gave the stock an overweight rating in a research report on Friday, December 1st. KeyCorp started coverage on Hormel Foods in a research report on Tuesday, October 31st. They issued a hold rating for the company. Mizuho set a $34.00 target price on Hormel Foods and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Saturday, November 25th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Hormel Foods from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $39.00 target price for the company in a research report on Thursday, November 23rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $35.70.

Shares of Hormel Foods (HRL) traded down $0.10 during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $36.35. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,934,820 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,340,000. Hormel Foods has a 12-month low of $29.75 and a 12-month high of $38.00. The company has a current ratio of 1.91, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.05. The firm has a market cap of $19,250.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.15, a PEG ratio of 2.34 and a beta of 0.65.

Hormel Foods (NYSE:HRL) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, November 21st. The company reported $0.41 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.40 by $0.01. Hormel Foods had a return on equity of 17.87% and a net margin of 9.24%. The firm had revenue of $2.49 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.41 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.45 EPS. Hormel Foods’s quarterly revenue was down 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts anticipate that Hormel Foods will post 1.67 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 15th. Investors of record on Tuesday, January 16th will be issued a $0.1875 dividend. This is an increase from Hormel Foods’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.17. The ex-dividend date is Friday, January 12th. This represents a $0.75 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.06%. Hormel Foods’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 43.31%.

In related news, Director Elsa A. Murano sold 7,129 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.00, for a total value of $256,644.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 90,991 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,275,676. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Gary Jamison sold 4,169 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.48, for a total value of $152,085.12. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 12,615 shares in the company, valued at approximately $460,195.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders sold 155,815 shares of company stock worth $5,402,159. Company insiders own 3.54% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Dupont Capital Management Corp bought a new stake in shares of Hormel Foods in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $100,000. Acrospire Investment Management LLC bought a new stake in Hormel Foods during the 2nd quarter valued at $111,000. BB&T Investment Services Inc. bought a new stake in Hormel Foods during the 2nd quarter valued at $118,000. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. raised its stake in Hormel Foods by 0.4% during the 2nd quarter. Bronfman E.L. Rothschild L.P. now owns 4,766 shares of the company’s stock valued at $163,000 after acquiring an additional 19 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Keel Point LLC raised its stake in Hormel Foods by 2.5% during the 2nd quarter. Keel Point LLC now owns 5,999 shares of the company’s stock valued at $205,000 after acquiring an additional 145 shares in the last quarter. 38.22% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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