Pinnacle Associates Ltd. Cuts Holdings in ConAgra Foods Inc. (CAG)

Pinnacle Associates Ltd. reduced its stake in shares of ConAgra Foods Inc. (NYSE:CAG) by 1.5% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 19,084 shares of the company’s stock after selling 300 shares during the period. Pinnacle Associates Ltd.’s holdings in ConAgra Foods were worth $682,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of ConAgra Foods by 2.6% in the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 46,312,610 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,868,249,000 after buying an additional 1,175,244 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of ConAgra Foods by 2,749.9% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 26,966,885 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,087,846,000 after buying an additional 26,020,645 shares during the last quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its position in shares of ConAgra Foods by 3.5% in the 2nd quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 8,445,440 shares of the company’s stock worth $302,009,000 after buying an additional 285,685 shares during the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. lifted its position in shares of ConAgra Foods by 17.8% in the 2nd quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 7,277,792 shares of the company’s stock worth $260,254,000 after buying an additional 1,100,589 shares during the last quarter. Finally, TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC lifted its position in shares of ConAgra Foods by 21.6% in the 1st quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 6,575,883 shares of the company’s stock worth $265,271,000 after buying an additional 1,169,432 shares during the last quarter. 78.42% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

ConAgra Foods Inc. (CAG) traded up 1.31% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $34.93. 1,050,199 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. ConAgra Foods Inc. has a 52 week low of $32.16 and a 52 week high of $41.68. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $34.09 and a 200 day moving average of $37.35. The stock has a market capitalization of $14.55 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.92 and a beta of 0.33.

ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, June 29th. The company reported $0.37 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.37. ConAgra Foods had a net margin of 7.43% and a return on equity of 20.29%. The business had revenue of $1.86 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.86 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.52 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 9.3% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities analysts forecast that ConAgra Foods Inc. will post $1.86 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, August 31st. Investors of record on Monday, July 31st were given a dividend of $0.2125 per share. This is an increase from ConAgra Foods’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.20. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 27th. This represents a $0.85 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.46%. ConAgra Foods’s dividend payout ratio is 57.82%.

ConAgra Foods declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock buyback program on Thursday, June 29th that authorizes the company to buyback $1.00 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to reacquire up to 6.5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are generally an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

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In related news, 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 transaction of $209,358.40. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, 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 transaction of $200,848.12. Following the transaction, the director now owns 89,260 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,965,217.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.79% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of research firms have recently issued reports on CAG. BidaskClub downgraded shares of ConAgra Foods from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, August 26th. Credit Suisse Group restated a “hold” rating and issued a $39.00 price target on shares of ConAgra Foods in a research report on Friday, August 11th. UBS AG restated a “sell” rating and issued a $33.00 price target (down from $35.00) on shares of ConAgra Foods in a research report on Friday, June 30th. J P Morgan Chase & Co restated an “overweight” rating and issued a $42.00 price target (down from $44.00) on shares of ConAgra Foods in a research report on Wednesday, June 28th. Finally, Bank of America Corporation reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $43.00 price objective (down from $44.00) on shares of ConAgra Foods in a research report on Monday, June 26th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $42.72.

ConAgra Foods 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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for ConAgra Foods (NYSE:CAG)

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