Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM) saw some unusual options trading activity on Thursday. Traders bought 1,493 put options on the company. This is an increase of 694% compared to the average daily volume of 188 put options.

SAFM has been the subject of a number of research analyst reports. J P Morgan Chase & Co reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $129.00 price target (up from $112.00) on shares of Sanderson Farms in a research report on Thursday, August 24th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “market perform” rating and issued a $150.00 price target (up from $130.00) on shares of Sanderson Farms in a research report on Friday, August 25th. Barclays set a $136.00 price target on shares of Sanderson Farms and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, August 25th. ValuEngine raised shares of Sanderson Farms from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Friday, September 1st. Finally, Stephens reissued an “equal weight” rating and issued a $170.00 price target (up from $145.00) on shares of Sanderson Farms in a research report on Monday, September 25th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, two have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $138.80.

A number of large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in SAFM. Schroder Investment Management Group increased its holdings in Sanderson Farms by 1,543.8% in the third quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 381,504 shares of the company’s stock worth $60,705,000 after buying an additional 358,296 shares during the last quarter. Koch Industries Inc. acquired a new position in Sanderson Farms in the second quarter worth approximately $309,000. Origin Asset Management LLP acquired a new position in Sanderson Farms in the second quarter worth approximately $32,665,000. Alliancebernstein L.P. increased its holdings in Sanderson Farms by 603.4% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 270,004 shares of the company’s stock worth $31,226,000 after buying an additional 231,621 shares during the last quarter. Finally, APG Asset Management N.V. acquired a new position in Sanderson Farms in the third quarter worth approximately $28,428,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 99.88% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ SAFM) opened at $143.31 on Friday. The stock has a market cap of $3,329.05, a P/E ratio of 11.91 and a beta of 0.61. Sanderson Farms has a 52-week low of $87.54 and a 52-week high of $176.43.

Sanderson Farms (NASDAQ:SAFM) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, December 14th. The company reported $3.20 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $3.50 by ($0.30). Sanderson Farms had a return on equity of 20.97% and a net margin of 8.34%. The firm had revenue of $919.90 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $916.07 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $3.36 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 16.3% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts anticipate that Sanderson Farms will post 10.73 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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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.

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