Zacks Investment Management increased its stake in shares of Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM) by 5.4% in the 2nd quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 6,885 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 355 shares during the quarter. Zacks Investment Management’s holdings in Sanderson Farms were worth $796,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds also recently added to or reduced their stakes in SAFM. Advisor Group Inc. raised its position in Sanderson Farms by 6.9% in 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 in the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Sanderson Farms by 144.9% in the 2nd quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 1,119 shares of the company’s stock valued at $130,000 after buying an additional 662 shares during the period. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC purchased a new position in shares of Sanderson Farms in the 2nd quarter valued at about $125,000. Strs Ohio boosted its stake in shares of Sanderson Farms by 180.0% in the 2nd quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 1,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $161,000 after buying an additional 900 shares during the period. Finally, Riverhead Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Sanderson Farms by 49.9% in the 2nd quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 1,499 shares of the company’s stock valued at $173,000 after buying an additional 499 shares during the period. 99.95% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM) opened at 163.94 on Wednesday. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $151.82 and a 200-day moving average price of $126.04. Sanderson Farms, Inc. has a one year low of $74.07 and a one year high of $165.50. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.73 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.16 and a beta of 0.58.

Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) last posted 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. The company had revenue of $931.90 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $921.40 million. Sanderson Farms had a net margin of 8.77% and a return on equity of 22.21%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 28.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $2.42 EPS. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Sanderson Farms, Inc. will post $12.74 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, October 17th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, October 3rd will be given a dividend of $0.32 per share. This represents a $1.28 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 0.78%. This is a positive change from Sanderson Farms’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.24. The ex-dividend date is Monday, October 2nd. Sanderson Farms’s payout ratio is presently 10.31%.

SAFM has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research raised Sanderson Farms from a “hold” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $133.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Wednesday, July 5th. Stephens reaffirmed an “equal weight” rating and issued a $170.00 target price (up previously from $145.00) on shares of Sanderson Farms in a report on Monday, September 25th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and issued a $150.00 target price (up previously from $130.00) on shares of Sanderson Farms in a report on Friday, August 25th. Barclays PLC assumed coverage on shares of Sanderson Farms in a research note on Tuesday, June 6th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $125.00 price target for the company. Finally, BidaskClub downgraded shares of Sanderson Farms from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, four have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $129.36.

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In related news, Director Robert C. Khayat sold 1,775 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, August 29th. The stock was sold at an average price of $142.31, for a total value of $252,600.25. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 12,043 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,713,839.33. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director John Bierbusse sold 625 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $138.03, for a total value of $86,268.75. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 14,776 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,039,531.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 5,400 shares of company stock worth $771,199. Corporate insiders own 5.66% of the company’s stock.

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.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM)

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