Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE:CAG) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $53.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “ConAgra's first-quarter fiscal 2017 earnings surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 21.7% and the year-ago tally by 48.8%. The remarkable improvement was witnessed on the back of meaningful restructuring initiatives. ConAgra is currently undergoing rigorous structural changes by divesting its less profitable businesses and acquiring new brands, for boosting revenues and margins. In sync with this strategy, the company intends to complete the divestiture of its Lamb Weston business by the fall of fiscal 2017. Henceforth, this will result in the formation of two separate pure play public companies – ConAgra Brands and Lamb Weston.”

Other equities analysts have also issued reports about the stock. Credit Suisse Group AG set a $50.00 price target on shares of ConAgra Foods and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Saturday, October 1st. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a sector perform rating and set a $50.00 price target (up from $48.00) on shares of ConAgra Foods in a research report on Monday, June 27th. Sanford C. Bernstein restated a market perform rating and set a $49.00 price target on shares of ConAgra Foods in a research report on Wednesday, June 29th. Deutsche Bank AG restated a hold rating and set a $48.00 price target on shares of ConAgra Foods in a research report on Wednesday, July 6th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. restated a neutral rating and set a $50.00 price target on shares of ConAgra Foods in a research report on Thursday, June 30th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $50.20.

Analyst Recommendations for ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG)

Shares of ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG) traded up 0.04% during trading on Wednesday, hitting $47.17. 399,143 shares of the stock were exchanged. The company has a market cap of $20.71 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 31.57 and a beta of 0.34. ConAgra Foods has a one year low of $37.97 and a one year high of $48.81. The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $45.28 and its 200-day moving average price is $45.88.

ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG) last released its earnings results on Thursday, September 29th. The company reported $0.61 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.48 by $0.13. The business earned $2.67 billion during the quarter. ConAgra Foods had a net margin of 5.76% and a return on equity of 28.48%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 4.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.41 EPS. On average, analysts predict that ConAgra Foods will post $2.45 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, November 30th. Investors of record on Monday, October 31st will be given a $0.25 dividend. This represents a $1.00 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.12%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, October 27th. ConAgra Foods’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 66.67%.

In related news, SVP Robert G. Wise sold 15,708 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, July 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $47.90, for a total value of $752,413.20. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 34,326 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,644,215.40. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, SVP Robert G. Wise sold 17,245 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.19, for a total transaction of $831,036.55. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 35,863 shares in the company, valued at $1,728,237.97. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.58% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. AXA increased its position in ConAgra Foods by 81.4% in the first quarter. AXA now owns 148,600 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,631,000 after buying an additional 66,700 shares during the period. Quadrature Capital Ltd increased its position in ConAgra Foods by 614.3% in the first quarter. Quadrature Capital Ltd now owns 92,237 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,116,000 after buying an additional 79,324 shares during the period. Scotia Capital Inc. increased its position in ConAgra Foods by 45.8% in the first quarter. Scotia Capital Inc. now owns 65,877 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,943,000 after buying an additional 20,696 shares during the period. State Street Corp increased its position in ConAgra Foods by 3.2% in the first quarter. State Street Corp now owns 22,191,654 shares of the company’s stock worth $990,189,000 after buying an additional 686,101 shares during the period. Finally, BB&T Securities LLC increased its position in ConAgra Foods by 25.0% in the first quarter. BB&T Securities LLC now owns 56,305 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,512,000 after buying an additional 11,271 shares during the period. 75.33% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

ConAgra Foods Company Profile

ConAgra Foods, Inc operates as a packaged food company. The Company sells branded, private branded and customized food products, as well as commercially branded foods and ingredients. It also supplies frozen potato and sweet potato products, as well as other vegetable, spice and grain products to a range of restaurants, foodservice operators and commercial customers.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:CAG

Receive News & Stock Ratings for ConAgra Foods Inc. Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for ConAgra Foods Inc. and related stocks with our FREE daily email newsletter.