KeyCorp began coverage on shares of Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM) in a research report report published on Tuesday morning, Marketbeat Ratings reports. The firm issued a sector weight rating on the stock. KeyCorp also issued estimates for Sanderson Farms’ Q4 2017 earnings at $3.51 EPS, FY2017 earnings at $12.57 EPS, Q1 2018 earnings at $1.77 EPS, Q2 2018 earnings at $2.84 EPS, Q3 2018 earnings at $3.80 EPS, Q4 2018 earnings at $3.02 EPS and FY2018 earnings at $11.45 EPS.

Several other analysts have also issued reports on SAFM. Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of Sanderson Farms from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, August 11th. BidaskClub upgraded shares of Sanderson Farms from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 1st. Mizuho lowered shares of Sanderson Farms from a buy rating to a neutral rating and lifted their target price for the company from $151.00 to $160.00 in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. J P Morgan Chase & Co reiterated a neutral rating and issued a $129.00 target price (up previously from $112.00) on shares of Sanderson Farms in a research report on Thursday, August 24th. Finally, Stephens lowered shares of Sanderson Farms from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating and set a $145.00 target price on the stock. in a research report on Thursday, August 17th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $132.00.

Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ SAFM) traded up $2.04 on Tuesday, reaching $148.85. The company had a trading volume of 336,044 shares, compared to its average volume of 714,151. Sanderson Farms has a 12-month low of $74.07 and a 12-month high of $166.65. The firm has a market cap of $3,390.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.83 and a beta of 0.56.

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 analysts’ consensus estimates of $3.47 by $1.62. Sanderson Farms had a net margin of 8.77% and a return on equity of 22.21%. The company had revenue of $931.90 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $921.40 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $2.42 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 28.0% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts predict that Sanderson Farms will post 12.78 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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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 paid a dividend of $0.32 per share. The ex-dividend date was Monday, October 2nd. This is an increase from Sanderson Farms’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.24. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.86%. Sanderson Farms’s payout ratio is 10.27%.

In related news, Director John Bierbusse sold 625 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,039,531.28. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, Director Robert C. Khayat sold 1,775 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $142.31, for a total transaction of $252,600.25. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 12,043 shares in the company, valued at $1,713,839.33. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 5,400 shares of company stock worth $771,199 over the last three months. Insiders own 5.66% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in SAFM. BlackRock Inc. increased 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 worth $280,451,000 after buying an additional 2,693,713 shares during the period. Koch Industries Inc. purchased a new stake in Sanderson Farms during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $309,000. Origin Asset Management LLP purchased a new stake in Sanderson Farms during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $32,665,000. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased 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 worth $31,226,000 after buying an additional 231,621 shares during the period. Finally, APG Asset Management N.V. purchased a new stake in Sanderson Farms during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $28,428,000. 99.95% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM)

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