Hormel (NYSE:HRL) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “In the last three months, Hormel Foods’ shares have outperformed the industry. The company perceives that elevated demand for on-trend branded products will bolster its revenues in the upcoming quarters. Hormel Foods also believes that the new tax reform will boost its near-term liquidity, enabling it to fund new investments, raise employee wages and boost shareholders’ return going forward. However, over the last three months, the stock looks overvalued compared to the industry. The company noted that lower turkey prices will continue to hurt its Jennie-O Turkey Store business in the quarters ahead. Moreover, headwinds like unfavorable foreign currency-translation impact might dent results in the upcoming quarters. Over the past 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the stock remained unchanged for fiscals 2018 and 2019.”

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HRL has been the subject of several other research reports. Barclays reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $38.00 price target (down previously from $40.00) on shares of Hormel in a research note on Friday, February 23rd. Jefferies Group reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Hormel in a research note on Thursday, February 22nd. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of Hormel in a research note on Sunday, February 25th. Finally, Piper Jaffray reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $39.00 price target on shares of Hormel in a research note on Tuesday, February 27th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and five have issued a buy rating to the stock. Hormel currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $34.60.

Shares of HRL stock traded down $0.09 on Tuesday, hitting $35.35. The company had a trading volume of 570,722 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,967,546. The stock has a market cap of $18,556.66, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.52, a PEG ratio of 2.18 and a beta of 0.44. The company has a current ratio of 1.47, a quick ratio of 0.74 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.12. Hormel has a twelve month low of $29.75 and a twelve month high of $38.00.

Hormel (NYSE:HRL) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 22nd. The company reported $0.44 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $0.44. The company had revenue of $2.33 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.43 billion. Hormel had a return on equity of 17.44% and a net margin of 9.92%. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $0.44 earnings per share. sell-side analysts forecast that Hormel will post 1.73 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, insider Steven G. Binder sold 20,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 8th. The stock was sold at an average price of $33.40, for a total transaction of $668,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 31,964 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,067,597.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP Mark A. Coffey sold 8,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, April 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.97, for a total value of $279,760.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 29,011 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,014,514.67. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 281,976 shares of company stock valued at $9,718,072 in the last ninety days. 1.48% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. IFP Advisors Inc grew its stake in Hormel by 11.4% during the fourth quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 14,860 shares of the company’s stock worth $541,000 after purchasing an additional 1,525 shares during the period. First Republic Investment Management Inc. grew its stake in Hormel by 3.5% during the fourth quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 45,577 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,659,000 after purchasing an additional 1,525 shares during the period. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC grew its stake in Hormel by 7.2% during the fourth quarter. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC now owns 23,292 shares of the company’s stock worth $846,000 after purchasing an additional 1,566 shares during the period. Comerica Bank grew its stake in Hormel by 1.7% during the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 102,560 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,527,000 after purchasing an additional 1,694 shares during the period. Finally, Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado grew its stake in Hormel by 3.3% during the fourth quarter. Public Employees Retirement Association of Colorado now owns 54,453 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,982,000 after purchasing an additional 1,715 shares during the period. 39.40% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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Hormel Company Profile

Hormel Foods Corporation produces and markets various meat and food products in the United States and internationally. The company operates through five segments: Grocery Products, Refrigerated Foods, Jennie-O Turkey Store, Specialty Foods, and International & Other. It offers various perishable meat products, including fresh meats, frozen items, refrigerated meal solutions, sausages, hams, guacamole, and bacon; and shelf-stable products, such as canned luncheon meats, peanut butter, chilies, shelf-stable microwaveable meals, hash, stews, meat spreads, flour and corn tortillas, salsas, tortilla chips, and other products.

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