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Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) was downgraded by equities researchers at Stephens from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research report issued on Monday, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. They currently have a $65.00 price objective on the stock, down from their previous price objective of $81.00. Stephens’ price objective suggests a potential upside of 4.12% from the company’s current price.

The analysts wrote, “We are lowering our rating on Sanderson Farms to Equal-Weight from Overweight as profitability may be hampered by a fall in chicken pricing, specifically leg quarters. Our price target is now $65, down from $81, and is based on 10x-11x our new C2014 EPS estimate of $6.22, in line with the stock’s historical average. The chicken cycle is proving to be shorter and less robust than we had anticipated. While feed costs, particularly corn prices, are declining – in line with our expectations, chicken pricing is declining much faster than we had predicted as demand has been mixed and supply has been heavy. We are not looking for the chicken industry or Sanderson Farms to post negative earnings, but do anticipate that results will fall significantly short of consensus expectations. Downward earnings revisions will likely limit SAFM’s share price.”

Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the stock. Analysts at Ned Davis Research downgraded shares of Sanderson Farms from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note to investors on Monday, September 30th. Analysts at Zacks downgraded shares of Sanderson Farms from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note to investors on Wednesday, July 31st. They now have a $76.60 price target on the stock. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the stock. Sanderson Farms has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $70.12.

Shares of Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) traded down 2.80% during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $60.68. 135,381 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Sanderson Farms has a 1-year low of $43.77 and a 1-year high of $75.53. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $65.06 and its 200-day moving average is $66.. The company has a market cap of $1.396 billion and a P/E ratio of 15.16.

Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) last released its earnings data on Tuesday, August 27th. The company reported $2.95 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $2.62 by $0.33. The company had revenue of $739.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $722.45 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.25 earnings per share. Sanderson Farms’s revenue was up 18.2% compared to the same quarter last year.

Sanderson Farms, Inc is a poultry processing company engaged in the production, processing, marketing and distribution of fresh and frozen chicken products.

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