Hormel Foods Corp (HRL) Short Interest Up 14.5% in January

Hormel Foods Corp (NYSE:HRL) was the target of a large growth in short interest in the month of January. As of January 31st, there was short interest totalling 31,891,455 shares, a growth of 14.5% from the January 12th total of 27,864,782 shares. Approximately 11.8% of the shares of the company are short sold. Based on an average daily volume of 2,600,262 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 12.3 days.

HRL has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Morgan Stanley initiated coverage on Hormel Foods in a research report on Friday, November 3rd. They set an “underweight” rating and a $26.00 price objective for the company. BMO Capital Markets restated a “buy” rating and set a $38.00 price objective on shares of Hormel Foods in a research report on Monday, November 6th. Piper Jaffray Companies initiated coverage on Hormel Foods in a research report on Thursday, January 4th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $42.00 price objective for the company. KeyCorp initiated coverage on Hormel Foods in a research report on Tuesday, October 31st. They set a “hold” rating for the company. Finally, Stephens reduced their price objective on Hormel Foods from $50.00 to $38.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Thursday, October 19th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Hormel Foods has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $35.70.

Shares of Hormel Foods (NYSE HRL) opened at $33.07 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.05, a quick ratio of 1.04 and a current ratio of 1.91. The firm has a market capitalization of $17,510.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.06, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.05 and a beta of 0.49. Hormel Foods has a 12 month low of $29.75 and a 12 month high of $38.00.

Hormel Foods (NYSE:HRL) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, November 21st. The company reported $0.41 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.40 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $2.49 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.41 billion. Hormel Foods had a return on equity of 17.87% and a net margin of 9.24%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.45 EPS. equities research analysts expect that Hormel Foods will post 1.71 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 15th. Shareholders of record on Tuesday, January 16th will be paid a dividend of $0.1875 per share. The ex-dividend date is Friday, January 12th. This represents a $0.75 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.27%. This is an increase from Hormel Foods’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.17. Hormel Foods’s payout ratio is presently 47.77%.

In related news, VP Gary Jamison sold 4,169 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $36.48, for a total transaction of $152,085.12. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 12,615 shares in the company, valued at approximately $460,195.20. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, Director Elsa A. Murano sold 7,129 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, January 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $36.00, for a total value of $256,644.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 90,991 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,275,676. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 131,001 shares of company stock valued at $4,612,826 in the last 90 days. Insiders own 1.48% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. BlackRock Inc. raised its stake in Hormel Foods by 1.8% during the 4th quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 20,327,330 shares of the company’s stock valued at $739,714,000 after acquiring an additional 367,255 shares in the last quarter. Capital International Investors raised its stake in shares of Hormel Foods by 28.4% in the 3rd quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 10,634,975 shares of the company’s stock worth $341,808,000 after buying an additional 2,350,000 shares in the last quarter. Valueinvest Asset Management S.A. raised its stake in shares of Hormel Foods by 29.2% in the 3rd quarter. Valueinvest Asset Management S.A. now owns 6,915,500 shares of the company’s stock worth $222,264,000 after buying an additional 1,563,700 shares in the last quarter. Champlain Investment Partners LLC raised its stake in shares of Hormel Foods by 16.6% in the 4th quarter. Champlain Investment Partners LLC now owns 3,684,235 shares of the company’s stock worth $134,069,000 after buying an additional 524,325 shares in the last quarter. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. raised its stake in shares of Hormel Foods by 44.2% in the 3rd quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 3,051,908 shares of the company’s stock worth $98,088,000 after buying an additional 936,053 shares in the last quarter. 38.31% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Hormel Foods Company Profile

Hormel Foods Corporation is engaged in the production of a range of meat and food products. The Company operates through four segments: Grocery Products, which is engaged in the processing, marketing and sale of shelf-stable food products sold for the retail market and health and also consists of nutrition products, including Muscle Milk protein products.; Refrigerated Foods, which consists of the processing, marketing and sale of branded and unbranded pork, beef, chicken and turkey products for retail, foodservice and fresh product customers; Jennie-O Turkey Store (JOTS), which consists of the processing, marketing and sale of branded and unbranded turkey products for retail, foodservice and fresh product customers; and International & Other, which includes Hormel Foods International Corporation, which manufactures, markets and sells the Company products internationally.

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