Analysts at Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on shares of Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM) in a research report issued on Friday, Marketbeat.com reports. The firm set an “equal weight” rating and a $140.00 price target on the stock. Morgan Stanley’s target price would suggest a potential downside of 5.95% from the stock’s current price.

Several other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Sanderson Farms from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. J P Morgan Chase & Co cut shares of Sanderson Farms from a “neutral” rating to an “underweight” rating and lifted their price objective for the company from $129.00 to $134.00 in a research report on Friday, October 6th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “market perform” rating and set a $150.00 price objective (up previously from $130.00) on shares of Sanderson Farms in a research report on Friday, August 25th. BidaskClub cut shares of Sanderson Farms from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 25th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Sanderson Farms from a “strong-buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 26th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $132.00.

Shares of Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ SAFM) traded up $2.04 during trading hours on Friday, reaching $148.85. 277,474 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 582,308. Sanderson Farms has a twelve month low of $74.07 and a twelve month high of $166.65. The stock has a market capitalization of $3,385.44, a P/E ratio of 11.99 and a beta of 0.56.

Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, August 24th. The company reported $5.09 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $3.47 by $1.62. The firm had revenue of $931.90 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $921.40 million. Sanderson Farms had a net margin of 8.77% and a return on equity of 22.21%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 28.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $2.42 earnings per share. analysts anticipate that Sanderson Farms will post 12.76 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other Sanderson Farms news, Director Fred L. Banks, Jr. sold 3,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $144.11, for a total value of $432,330.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 24,948 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,595,256.28. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director John Bierbusse sold 625 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 25th. The stock was sold at an average price of $138.03, for a total value of $86,268.75. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 14,776 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,039,531.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders sold 5,400 shares of company stock worth $771,199. 5.66% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Advisor Group Inc. boosted its position in Sanderson Farms by 6.9% in the 2nd quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 961 shares of the company’s stock worth $112,000 after purchasing an additional 62 shares in the last quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. boosted its position in Sanderson Farms by 144.9% in the 2nd quarter. PNC Financial Services Group Inc. now owns 1,119 shares of the company’s stock worth $130,000 after purchasing an additional 662 shares in the last quarter. Chicago Partners Investment Group LLC purchased a new stake in Sanderson Farms in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $125,000. World Asset Management Inc purchased a new stake in Sanderson Farms in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $207,000. Finally, Foster & Motley Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Sanderson Farms during the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $213,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 99.95% of the company’s stock.

Sanderson Farms Company Profile

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 also preparation, processing, marketing and distribution of processed and minimally prepared chicken. It sells ice pack, chill pack, bulk pack and frozen chicken, in whole, cut-up and boneless form, under the Sanderson Farms brand name to retailers, distributors, casual dining operators, customers reselling frozen chicken into export markets.

Analyst Recommendations for Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM)

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