Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM) was downgraded by JPMorgan Chase & Co. from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday. They presently have a $95.00 price objective on the stock, down from their previous price objective of $96.00. JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 2.65% from the company’s current price. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call.

Several other equities analysts also recently commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Sanderson Farms from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 3rd. Goldman Sachs downgraded shares of Sanderson Farms from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $75.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Tuesday, March 15th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets upped their price objective on shares of Sanderson Farms from $72.00 to $86.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Friday, February 26th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $81.71.

Shares of Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) traded down 3.24% during midday trading on Friday, hitting $89.55. The company had a trading volume of 90,553 shares. Sanderson Farms has a one year low of $64.13 and a one year high of $95.98. The stock has a market capitalization of $2.02 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.60. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $90.49 and its 200-day moving average price is $83.32.

Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, May 26th. The company reported $2.11 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.62 by $0.49. During the same period last year, the company posted $3.13 earnings per share. The firm had revenue of $692.10 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $671.61 million. The business’s revenue was down 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Sanderson Farms will post $6.30 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, May 24th. Investors of record on Tuesday, May 10th were paid a $0.22 dividend. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 0.95%. The ex-dividend date was Friday, May 6th.

A number of institutional investors recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Capital Fund Management S.A. increased its position in Sanderson Farms by 94.6% in the fourth quarter. Capital Fund Management S.A. now owns 36,383 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,820,000 after buying an additional 17,683 shares during the last quarter. American International Group Inc. increased its position in Sanderson Farms by 29.8% in the fourth quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 20,510 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,590,000 after buying an additional 4,711 shares during the last quarter. Shell Asset Management Co. bought a new position in Sanderson Farms during the fourth quarter worth about $1,887,000. Rhumbline Advisers increased its position in Sanderson Farms by 3.7% in the fourth quarter. Rhumbline Advisers now owns 37,593 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,914,000 after buying an additional 1,325 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its position in Sanderson Farms by 9.5% in the fourth quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 106,454 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,253,000 after buying an additional 9,239 shares during the last quarter.

In related news, Director John Bierbusse sold 750 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, March 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $88.35, for a total value of $66,262.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 14,963 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,321,981.05. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link.

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 the preparation, processing, marketing and distribution of processed and prepared chicken items. The Company sells ice pack, chill pack, bulk pack and frozen chicken, in whole, cut-up and boneless form, primarily under the Sanderson Farms brand name to retailers, distributors and casual dining operators principally in the southeastern, southwestern, northeastern and western United States, and to customers reselling frozen chicken into export markets.

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