Stock Traders Buy High Volume of Call Options on Conagra Brands (NYSE:CAG)

Conagra Brands Inc (NYSE:CAG) saw some unusual options trading on Tuesday. Stock investors acquired 11,153 call options on the company. This represents an increase of approximately 190% compared to the typical daily volume of 3,845 call options.

Shares of CAG traded up $1.10 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $34.80. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 134,498 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,775,433. Conagra Brands has a one year low of $22.83 and a one year high of $35.59. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.16, a quick ratio of 0.34 and a current ratio of 0.87. The firm has a market capitalization of $16.41 billion, a PE ratio of 21.47, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.02 and a beta of 0.82. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $33.56 and its two-hundred day moving average is $31.78.

Conagra Brands (NYSE:CAG) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, March 31st. The company reported $0.47 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.49 by ($0.02). Conagra Brands had a net margin of 7.37% and a return on equity of 12.08%. The business had revenue of $2.56 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.59 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.51 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 5.6% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Conagra Brands will post 2.19 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 3rd. Stockholders of record on Thursday, April 30th were given a $0.2125 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, April 29th. This represents a $0.85 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.44%. Conagra Brands’s dividend payout ratio is 42.29%.

In other news, Director Thomas K. Brown sold 7,336 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $32.44, for a total value of $237,979.84. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Jana Partners Llc sold 274,341 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, April 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.60, for a total value of $9,492,198.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 367,911 shares of company stock worth $12,745,447 in the last quarter. 0.84% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A. acquired a new position in shares of Conagra Brands in the fourth quarter valued at $3,084,000. Squarepoint Ops LLC raised its stake in shares of Conagra Brands by 15.4% in the first quarter. Squarepoint Ops LLC now owns 113,880 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,341,000 after purchasing an additional 15,230 shares in the last quarter. Bell Bank raised its stake in shares of Conagra Brands by 1.1% in the fourth quarter. Bell Bank now owns 65,894 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,256,000 after purchasing an additional 712 shares in the last quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank raised its stake in shares of Conagra Brands by 40.6% in the fourth quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 675,123 shares of the company’s stock valued at $23,113,000 after purchasing an additional 194,896 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Engineers Gate Manager LP raised its stake in shares of Conagra Brands by 16.2% in the first quarter. Engineers Gate Manager LP now owns 34,557 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,014,000 after purchasing an additional 4,818 shares in the last quarter. 82.69% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

CAG has been the topic of a number of research reports. Jefferies Financial Group upgraded Conagra Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $41.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday, June 22nd. Standpoint Research downgraded Conagra Brands from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, May 18th. ValuEngine downgraded Conagra Brands from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, June 1st. SunTrust Banks downgraded Conagra Brands from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $35.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Monday, May 11th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Conagra Brands from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $35.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, April 15th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating, seven have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $34.38.

About Conagra Brands

Conagra Brands, Inc, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a food company in North America. The company operates through Grocery & Snacks, Refrigerated & Frozen, International, and Foodservice segments. The Grocery & Snacks segment primarily offers shelf stable food products in various retail channels in the United States.

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