Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM) was the recipient of unusually large options trading activity on Thursday. Traders bought 1,493 put options on the stock. This is an increase of 694% compared to the average volume of 188 put options.

Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ SAFM) opened at $143.31 on Friday. Sanderson Farms has a one year low of $87.54 and a one year high of $176.43. The company has a market cap of $3,329.05, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.91 and a beta of 0.61.

Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, December 14th. The company reported $3.20 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $3.50 by ($0.30). The company had revenue of $919.90 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $916.07 million. Sanderson Farms had a net margin of 8.34% and a return on equity of 20.97%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 16.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $3.36 earnings per share. analysts predict that Sanderson Farms will post 10.73 EPS for the current fiscal year.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Amalgamated Bank increased its position in Sanderson Farms by 1.4% during the 2nd quarter. Amalgamated Bank now owns 2,748 shares of the company’s stock valued at $318,000 after purchasing an additional 39 shares during the period. Advisor Group Inc. increased its position in Sanderson Farms by 6.9% during the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 961 shares of the company’s stock valued at $112,000 after purchasing an additional 62 shares during the period. Arizona State Retirement System increased its position in Sanderson Farms by 1.0% during the 2nd quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 10,484 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,212,000 after purchasing an additional 100 shares during the period. Sei Investments Co. increased its position in Sanderson Farms by 2.3% during the 2nd quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 6,058 shares of the company’s stock valued at $701,000 after purchasing an additional 139 shares during the period. Finally, The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company increased its position in Sanderson Farms by 1.0% during the 2nd quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 16,426 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,900,000 after purchasing an additional 170 shares during the period. 99.88% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Several research analysts recently commented on SAFM shares. J P Morgan Chase & Co reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $129.00 target price (up from $112.00) on shares of Sanderson Farms in a research note on Thursday, August 24th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and issued a $150.00 target price (up from $130.00) on shares of Sanderson Farms in a research note on Friday, August 25th. Barclays set a $136.00 target price on shares of Sanderson Farms and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, August 25th. ValuEngine raised shares of Sanderson Farms from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Friday, September 1st. Finally, Stephens reaffirmed an “equal weight” rating and issued a $170.00 target price (up from $145.00) on shares of Sanderson Farms in a research note on Monday, September 25th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, two have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $138.80.

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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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