Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE:HRL) gapped up before the market opened on Tuesday after the company announced a dividend. The stock had previously closed at $33.24, but opened at $34.94. Hormel Foods Corp. shares last traded at $35.86, with a volume of 5,324,569 shares traded.

The newly announced dividend which will be paid on Wednesday, February 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, January 17th will be paid a dividend of $0.17 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, January 12th. This is a boost from Hormel Foods Corp.’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.15. This represents a $0.68 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.90%. Hormel Foods Corp.’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 37.79%.

Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the company. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Hormel Foods Corp. in a research report on Wednesday, August 3rd. Vetr lowered Hormel Foods Corp. from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $42.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Monday, October 10th. Zacks Investment Research raised Hormel Foods Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $40.00 target price for the company in a research report on Monday. Edward Jones raised Hormel Foods Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, September 16th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG reaffirmed a “hold” rating and set a $38.00 target price on shares of Hormel Foods Corp. in a research report on Tuesday, August 16th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $40.33.

The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $37.16 and its 200-day moving average price is $36.78. The company has a market capitalization of $18.98 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.29 and a beta of 0.52.

Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE:HRL) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, November 22nd. The company reported $0.45 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.01. Hormel Foods Corp. had a return on equity of 20.06% and a net margin of 8.96%. The company earned $2.63 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.62 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.37 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 9.5% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Hormel Foods Corp. will post $1.65 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider Steven G. Binder sold 12,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, October 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.98, for a total transaction of $455,760.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 41,622 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,580,803.56. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP Brian Dean Johnson sold 3,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, September 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $38.00, for a total value of $133,000.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 26,119 shares in the company, valued at $992,522. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 3.54% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in HRL. Van ECK Associates Corp increased its position in shares of Hormel Foods Corp. by 32.8% in the second quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 2,734 shares of the company’s stock worth $100,000 after buying an additional 676 shares during the last quarter. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC increased its position in shares of Hormel Foods Corp. by 3.8% in the second quarter. Checchi Capital Advisers LLC now owns 2,762 shares of the company’s stock worth $101,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC increased its position in shares of Hormel Foods Corp. by 192.9% in the second quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 2,794 shares of the company’s stock worth $102,000 after buying an additional 1,840 shares during the last quarter. Mizuho Asset Management Co. Ltd. increased its position in shares of Hormel Foods Corp. by 285.8% in the second quarter. Mizuho Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 3,380 shares of the company’s stock worth $124,000 after buying an additional 2,504 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Huntington National Bank increased its position in shares of Hormel Foods Corp. by 40.0% in the second quarter. Huntington National Bank now owns 3,500 shares of the company’s stock worth $128,000 after buying an additional 1,000 shares during the last quarter. 34.56% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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