ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE:CAG) has been given a consensus rating of “Hold” by the fifteen ratings firms that are currently covering the company, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company. The average twelve-month price objective among brokers that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $41.84.

A number of equities analysts have recently commented on CAG shares. Bank of America Corporation reissued a “buy” rating and set a $43.00 price target (down previously from $44.00) on shares of ConAgra Foods in a report on Monday, June 26th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a “buy” rating on shares of ConAgra Foods in a report on Friday, June 16th. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “hold” rating and set a $39.00 price target on shares of ConAgra Foods in a report on Friday, August 11th. Zacks Investment Research cut ConAgra Foods from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, May 22nd. Finally, Morgan Stanley reissued an “overweight” rating and set a $42.00 price target (down previously from $43.00) on shares of ConAgra Foods in a report on Monday, June 26th.

ConAgra Foods (CAG) opened at 32.88 on Friday. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $33.92 and its 200 day moving average price is $37.68. The firm has a market capitalization of $13.70 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.52 and a beta of 0.34. ConAgra Foods has a 1-year low of $32.33 and a 1-year high of $48.86.

ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG) last released its earnings results on Thursday, June 29th. The company reported $0.37 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.37. The firm had revenue of $1.86 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.86 billion. ConAgra Foods had a return on equity of 20.29% and a net margin of 7.43%. The company’s revenue was down 9.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.52 EPS. On average, analysts predict that ConAgra Foods will post $1.86 EPS for the current year.

ConAgra Foods announced that its board has approved a share repurchase plan on Thursday, June 29th that authorizes the company to repurchase $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to buy up to 6.5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are often a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, August 31st. Shareholders of record on Monday, July 31st were given a $0.2125 dividend. This represents a $0.85 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.59%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, July 27th. This is a positive change from ConAgra Foods’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. ConAgra Foods’s payout ratio is 57.82%.

In other ConAgra Foods news, Director Ruth Ann Marshall sold 6,046 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 12th. The stock was sold at an average price of $33.22, for a total value of $200,848.12. Following the sale, the director now owns 89,260 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,965,217.20. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Stephen G. Butler sold 5,848 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $35.80, for a total value of $209,358.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.79% of the company’s stock.

Large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Advisors Asset Management Inc. raised its stake in ConAgra Foods by 75.7% in the first quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 2,987 shares of the company’s stock worth $120,000 after buying an additional 1,287 shares during the period. MCF Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of ConAgra Foods by 29.0% in the first quarter. MCF Advisors LLC now owns 6,234 shares of the company’s stock valued at $251,000 after buying an additional 1,403 shares during the last quarter. Chicago Equity Partners LLC raised its stake in shares of ConAgra Foods by 2.2% in the first quarter. Chicago Equity Partners LLC now owns 13,190 shares of the company’s stock valued at $532,000 after buying an additional 290 shares during the last quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. raised its stake in shares of ConAgra Foods by 0.9% in the first quarter. Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Holdings Inc. now owns 1,345,634 shares of the company’s stock valued at $54,283,000 after buying an additional 12,596 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Eqis Capital Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of ConAgra Foods by 27.9% in the first quarter. Eqis Capital Management Inc. now owns 7,101 shares of the company’s stock valued at $286,000 after buying an additional 1,550 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 78.40% of the company’s stock.

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ConAgra Foods Company Profile

Conagra Brands, Inc, formerly ConAgra Foods, Inc, operates as a packaged food company. The Company operates through two segments: Consumer Foods and Commercial Foods. The Company sells branded and customized food products, as well as commercially branded foods. It also supplies vegetable, spice and grain products to a range of restaurants, foodservice operators and commercial customers.

Analyst Recommendations for ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG)

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