Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report issued on Thursday. They currently have $138.00 price target 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. “

Several other research firms have also recently weighed in on SAFM. Mizuho started coverage on shares of Sanderson Farms in a research report on Wednesday, June 7th. They set a buy rating and a $142.00 price objective for the company. Jefferies Group LLC restated a sell rating and issued a $85.00 price target on shares of Sanderson Farms in a report on Friday, June 9th. BMO Capital Markets restated a hold rating and issued a $130.00 price target on shares of Sanderson Farms in a report on Tuesday, June 27th. Pacific Crest restated an overweight rating and issued a $125.00 price target (up from $120.00) on shares of Sanderson Farms in a report on Sunday, April 23rd. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded shares of Sanderson Farms from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a report on Saturday, June 3rd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, five have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $119.44.

Shares of Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) traded up 0.95% during trading on Thursday, hitting $129.36. 96,619 shares of the stock traded hands. Sanderson Farms has a 1-year low of $74.07 and a 1-year high of $130.66. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $121.04 and a 200-day moving average of $107.53. The firm has a market capitalization of $2.94 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.28 and a beta of 0.59.

Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 25th. The company reported $2.94 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $2.72 by $0.22. Sanderson Farms had a net margin of 7.34% and a return on equity of 18.30%. The company had revenue of $802 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $769.47 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $2.11 earnings per share. Sanderson Farms’s revenue for the quarter was up 15.9% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts forecast that Sanderson Farms will post $10.64 earnings per share for the current year.

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The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, August 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, August 1st will be issued a $0.24 dividend. This represents a $0.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.75%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, July 28th. Sanderson Farms’s payout ratio is 9.86%.

In other news, Director Dianne Mooney sold 1,103 shares of Sanderson Farms stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $117.69, for a total transaction of $129,812.07. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 13,072 shares in the company, valued at $1,538,443.68. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Phil K. Livingston sold 500 shares of Sanderson Farms stock in a transaction dated Friday, May 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $121.50, for a total transaction of $60,750.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 9,673 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,175,269.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 5.66% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of SAFM. State of Alaska Department of Revenue boosted its position in shares of Sanderson Farms by 2.8% in the first quarter. State of Alaska Department of Revenue now owns 2,210 shares of the company’s stock worth $229,000 after buying an additional 60 shares in the last quarter. Laurion Capital Management LP acquired a new position in shares of Sanderson Farms during the first quarter worth about $633,000. TD Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Sanderson Farms by 9.3% in the first quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 33,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,427,000 after buying an additional 2,800 shares in the last quarter. Arizona State Retirement System boosted its position in shares of Sanderson Farms by 2.0% in the first quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 10,384 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,078,000 after buying an additional 200 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC boosted its position in shares of Sanderson Farms by 5.5% in the first quarter. Parametric Portfolio Associates LLC now owns 101,869 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,578,000 after buying an additional 5,332 shares in the last quarter.

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.

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Analyst Recommendations for Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM)

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